On Tuesday an absolutely wild story engulfed the Ottawa Senators and consumed a large portion of the attention in the hockey media and as time has gone on the details have become worse and worse.
The story began when comments made during a sworn statement in court by Melinda Karlsson, the wife of Ottawa Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson, were made available to the public. The comments outlined a pattern of abusive behavior and harassment that had been occurring over the better part of a year, harassment at the hands of a woman identified as Monika Caryk.
“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead,” said Melinda Karlsson.
“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.”
Normally this would be a story between two private citizens and the police and courts would handle it from start to finish, but there was an extra complicated wrinkle to this one in particular. You see Monika Caryk isn't just some random stalker, allegedly, she's the fiancee of Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman the long time teammate of Melinda's husband Erik. For what it's worth Hoffman has denied the accusations being made against his significant other.
“There is a 150 per cent chance that my fianceé Monika and I are not involved in any of the accusations that have been pursued (that are) coming our way," said Hoffman on Tuesday. “We totally understand there’s no place for cyberbullying.”
The problem for Hoffman and his fiancee is that of all the people connected to this story that have been willing to comment, none have come out in support of him and his fiancee, in fact the opposite appears to be the case.
From Julie Turris the wife of former Senator Kyle Turris:
This crossed the line from cyber bullying to something entirely different in April. Unfortunate that this private matter has become public. Incredibly proud of my girl for standing up for herself and her family, it took courage.
Taylor Winnik had this to say:
I’ve read hundreds of these comments being made. They are unrelenting, methodical and disturbing. This person has no business going anywhere near the women in the hockey community ever again.
The wife of former Ottawa Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond called the accusations against Caryk "unsurprising."
The wife of NHL goaltender Jason Labarbera was also ciritcal of Caryk.
Her fixation with Mel has always been unhealthy. Then it became scary. So glad Mel is protecting herself. No team will welcome this girl to the room.
It's important to note that these are still just accusations and that the opinions of the people quoted here are just that, opinions. That being said though it makes you wonder why the Ottawa Senators never stepped in to deal with this situation. The Senators release a statement today suggesting that they were investigating the matter, a statement that came only after the story was made public.
Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports is now reporting that his sources have informed him that the "majority" of members of the Senators organization have been aware of this issue for a considerable length of time. Not only did they know well before today, but they have been aware since at least March and Lavoie has indicated that the Senators knowledge of the situation may date back even further than that.
The fact that this was allowed to fester is just one more indication of how poorly run the Senators have been under owner Eugene Melnyk.
Photo Credit: Ashley Fraser / Postmedia