It was impossible to miss Florida’s forward Mike Hoffman last night. The top-line winger bombed two power play goals past Malcolm Subban and laid a nasty open-ice hit on defenseman Nate Schmidt.
Something else that stood out after the game was Hoffman’s affection for newly acquired Golden Knights forward Mark Stone.
You know they got a good player over there and he is going to be good for a long time, one of the best sticks in the league and very good in front of the net, he is a great addition for them. -Mike Hoffman
Stone and Hoffman shared a line in Ottawa for multiple seasons and played as teammates starting in 2012. The two also played several seasons together with the AHL’s Binghamton Senators.
Yeah, I played with Stone for a long time and he is a really good guy and obviously a really smart and talented hockey player. -Hoffman
The Panthers 30-goal scorer was drafted a year earlier but grew up through Ottawa’s system with Stone. They undoubtedly had chemistry together. Just take a look at this beautiful PP setup from last season.
Not only did Hoffman watched Stone turn into a star power forward, but also watched #61 grow into a leader on and off the ice.
He’s a great guy in the locker room, and gets along with everyone in the locker room. Which is big. -Hoffman
While both are now gone from Ottawa and the chaos that surrounded them as teammates, Hoffman spoke about his current team like Stone spoke about becoming a Golden Knight.
Yeah it has been great, coming in here has been a warm welcome from the players to the coaching staff and up to management… -Hoffman
The first-year Panther set his career high (30) in goals last night and is having his best NHL season overall. Maybe, it had something to do with the stress in Ottawa. Hopefully, the trend continues. The Golden Knights expect Stone to excel in Vegas, far from past distractions, and enjoy career years like his former linemate is in Florida.