Melinda Karlsson, the wife of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, has filed a restraining order against the fianceé of another Senators player.
According to a bombshell report from the Ottawa Citizen, the order of protection filed by Karlsson's wife alleges that Monika Caryk, the longtime girlfriend of Senators forward Mike Hoffman, is behind an extensive and aggressive campaign of harassment against the Karlssons since at least November of 2017.
The Karlssons, who suffered the death of their stillborn son earlier this year, claim that Caryk has harassed, stalked and threatened them.
"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."
The statements from Melinda Karlsson seem to that suggest that Caryk has been operating burner accounts used to target the Karlssons on social media. There was a documented incident of an extremely insensitive comment being left on Erik Karlsson's Instagram page as he mourned the loss of his son, Axel, in March. That post from Karlsson shared not only grief, but also gratitude for the outpouring of support from the Ottawa community.
However, one comment from a since-deleted account read, "I feel bad for the baby he didn't have a chance with Melinda popping pain killer medication everyday."
Karlsson immediately responded to the comment and replied, "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."
Hoffman and Caryk denied the allegations in a statement released shortly after the Ottawa Citizen's report was published.
"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. 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 per cent 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."
In addition to the restraining order, there is currently an active investigation being carried out by the Ottawa police as they look into the claims of stalking.
The Senators also released a statement saying that they are investigating the matter.
This is an extremely ugly situation unfolding in Ottawa, where things were already pretty ugly to begin with. The Senators are in a bit of turmoil as they deal with unrest in regards to their ownership and front office group. They're also coming off a disappointing season in which they finished with the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, just one year removed from making the Eastern Conference finals.
Prior to this report, there were already rumors of Karlsson and Hoffman being traded this offseason, and now it seems the likelihood that one (or both) of them are traded has increased significantly. Karlsson, 28, is a Norris-winner considered to be one of the best defensemen in hockey, but he only has one year remaining on his current contract and may not be interested in sticking around. (Shocker.)
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Hoffman is a productive forward who is coming off his fourth straight season with at least 20 goals.