Every day I wake up wondering what the next punch to the gut will be in regards to the Ottawa Senators.
Will it be announced that the LeBreton deal will never happen? That Mark Stone has asked for a trade? That they’ll never be changing jerseys? I never know what to expect, and things have gotten continuously worse since last fall. I never could have predicted the news that came out today, and it’s just another reason to be embarrassed to be a fan of this team. The Senators truly are the laughing stock of the league right now, down there with Buffalo and Arizona.
It was reported that Melinda Karlsson filed an order of protection
against Mike Hoffman’s longtime girlfriend, Monika Caryk, due to alleged harassment and threats from her. Here is what Melinda had to say in court on May 4th:
“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead,” says Melinda Karlsson’s sworn statement to the court. “She also uttered that she wished I was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ my husband’s legs to ‘end his career.’”
“Monika Caryk has posted over 1,000 negative and derogatory statements about me as a professional.”
Back when the the Karlsson’s baby Axel was stillborn on March 19th, Erik posted a heart-breaking picture on Instagram, but Caryk allegedly felt the need to harass on that picture:
“The post garnered more than 10,000 comments, with the overwhelming majority of them expressions of support and sympathy for the couple. However, one comment, posted by user @sandydandy45, stood out: ‘I feel bad for the baby he didn’t have a chance with Melinda popping pain killer medication everyday.’
It took the league’s top defenceman just seven minutes to respond: ‘How dare you. You have been making fake accounts and buying hacked ones for months to harass me and my wife but this is an all new low even for you. You are a disgusting person.’”
Erik notes that this anonymous person had been making fake accounts, so it seems like he knew at the time who this was. Nobody in the public knew at the time, but all signs point to him believing that Caryk was the one behind the hateful comment.
As Melinda noted in court, that Instagram comment was not the only time where she was harassed, as this has allegedly been going on for a long enough time to receive over 1,000 negative messages. Furthermore, although it is not stated, I’m sure that some of the alleged harassment occurred straight to her face, as there must have been some pre-existing hatred for some reason.
As with the Randy Lee situation, not many of us know the entire truth, but someone like Melinda isn’t going to court to receive protection against someone just because they feel like it. So the courts will have to decide if those accounts actually were Caryk’s, but Melinda obviously felt threatened enough that she feared for her safety, so I’ll believe what she’s claiming. It’s not like she is going to get money out of this or even have Caryk incarcerated either, so the motivation is purely for her own safety.
Furthermore, Andrew Hammond’s wife, Marlee, had an interesting point on this:
So Melinda probably didn’t want to have to take it this far, but the situation must have gotten so bad that she couldn’t take it anymore.
How does this affect Mike Hoffman then?
Well for starters, I have a hard time believing that he was unaware about this ongoing harassment. There’s a chance that he didn’t know about all the fake accounts, but there’s absolutely no way he was unaware of Caryk’s animosity towards the Karlsson’s. That isn’t really something that a couple would never
discuss. I don’t think that Mike necessarily felt the same way about this, but the fact that he is still dating Caryk just speaks to his character.
Here’s what he had to say on the situation:
“There is a 150 percent chance that my fianceé Monika and I are not involved in any of the accusations that have been pursued (that are) coming our way. We totally understand there’s no place for cyberbullying. We’ve offered to co-operate and do anything it takes to find out who is doing this, and support (the Karlssons). Obviously this is a tough time that they’re going through, and we want to find out who is doing this, because for some reason it’s coming into our court, and it’s 150 percent that it’s not us.
We have nothing to hide. We’re willing to co-operate in any way to solve this and figure it out, and prove that it wasn’t us.”
I hope that he is willing to help and doesn’t have the same level of hatred, but I don’t believe his statement whatsoever. The unfortunate thing about this is that he has to get traded at this point. If Karlsson is staying with the Senators, the relationship between the Monika and Melinda is beyond repair, plus there is probably bad blood between Mike and Erik as well. There is just no way that both of them can stay on the team, and an anonymous source said as much just yesterday before the news broke out:
Even if Karlsson does get traded, I’m not sure Ottawa should be keeping a guy like Hoffman around anyway. This isn’t the first instance of rumours about Hoffman not being the greatest teammate, and although those are more speculative, this story speaks volumes about who he is and who he associates with.
I’ll give Pierre Dorion credit, because I think he wanted to trade Hoffman earlier this season while nobody knew about the bad blood, but obviously he’s lost all leverage now. Instead, Dorion has two players in Hoffman and Karlsson who will surely net less in return than they are worth. If he actually did try to get in front of this, then I’ll give him some slight praise.
At the end of the day, Hoffman is surely a goner, and it’s too bad, because I loved him as a player, and I was vehemently against trading him up until this point. But now it’s past the point of no return.
To top it all off, Julie Turris also gave her thoughts on the situation:
It’s an incredibly sad story, and I feel so awful for what the Karlsson’s have had to go through this past year. They should be the focus here, and they deserve all of our love.
Unfortunately, Caryk’s ugly behaviour has taken the spotlight, and has created a situation where Hoffman needs to go.