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Preview/Lines #43: Hoffman Keeping Same Approach Through Slump, Trade Rumors



As the Trade Deadline approaches, Mike Hoffman knows that anything could happen.

The veteran winger has been traded a handful of times — including to the San Jose Sharks this summer — so he knows the drill at this point.

“I wouldn’t say it weighs on me or changes my approach to anything,” the ex-Ottawa Senators star told San Jose Hockey Now earlier this week. “I’m coming to the rink and doing the best I can do to help this team. Those things are obviously possibilities, and this is not the first time I’ve been through it, so it’s one of those things that is in the back of your head, but it doesn’t affect you.”

While all three trades Hoffman has been involved in happened in the offseason, he knows the drill.

The 13-year veteran has seen many teammates come and go while playing for both playoff-bound teams and struggling teams.

And it is something he is prepared for as a pending unrestricted free agent on a Sharks team well out of the playoff picture.

“I think you just understand that’s part of how this league works,” Hoffman said. “If you’re going to play in the league, that’s just what it is. So there’s things you can control and things that you can’t control, and I try to remember the things that I can control.”

In the event a trade does not happen, the 34-year-old forward has not ruled out a potential return to the San Jose Sharks just yet.

He has not talked to general manager Mike Grier about his future just yet, but he is willing to keep his options open.

“I think all options are on the table,” Hoffman said. “If it gets down to that, I will have to start thinking about that a little bit more.”

For Hoffman, that commitment would likely mean continuing to be a veteran presence on a rebuilding team.

He has gotten a taste of what that is like, helping San Jose’s young core navigate a 10-29-3 start, and it has not been easy.

But for as long as he is a Shark, he is committed to filling that role as best as he can.

“Obviously, it’s been a tough year,” Hoffman said. “We are trying to do everything we can to give ourselves the best opportunity every night. You’’re trying to take care of yourself and make yourself as good as you can, and at the end of the day, that will help your team as much as possible.

“That’s what I’ve been focusing on. I’m doing everything I can on and off the ice to help this team.”

Hoffman has shown flashes that he has more left in the tank, too.

With eight goals and 13 points in 41 games this season, he could crack 20 goals for the first time since leaving the Florida Panthers in 2020 if he gets hot in the second half of the season.

In the midst of a 14-game goal drought, Hoffman hopes to get back to his usual ways soon.

“I think you need to put yourself in positions to shoot the puck and to score,” the six-time 20-goal scorer said.

“But every single season, it’s the same thing. It’s a roller coaster. Sometimes you get hot, and then sometimes, it doesn’t work out. It’s one of those colder times, and we haven’t scored a lot of goals as a team, so that plays a part, but it’d obviously be nice to get back and starting to score a little bit, and help this team win some hockey games.”

San Jose Sharks (10-29-3)

Logan Couture will not play tonight. He practiced yesterday and David Quinn says he’s getting closer.

Preview/Lines #42: Couture Sorry To Not Play in Montreal, Doesn’t Think He’ll Debut in Ottawa

Based on yesterday’s practice, there won’t be any line-changes from Thursday’s win in Montreal.

Mackenzie Blackwood gets the start again, and Quinn basically reveals his goalies for the rest of the trip:

Ottawa Senators (14-23-0)

Joonas Korpisalo should get the start.

From practice yesterday:

Where to Watch

Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators is 1 PM PT at Canadian Tire Centre. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.

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