The soap opera that is the Ottawa Senators has just taken it’s strangest plot twist. According to the Ottawa Citizen, Melinda Karlsson has filed an order of protection against the longtime girlfriend of Senators forward Mike Hoffman which alleges a campaign of harassment towards her and her husband in the wake of the passing of their unborn son.
Erik Karlsson announced on social media back in November that the couple was expecting the birth of their first-born child. On March 19, the child, who they had named Axel Michael, was stillborn. Karlsson would go on to play five games to conclude the season which many believed to be his final with the Ottawa Senators.
“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.”
Reached on Tuesday afternoon, Hoffman said, “There’s nothing really for me to say, at this time. That’s all I can say.”
In March, Sens captain Erik Karlsson blasted an anonymous online troll who, in the comments section of a post mourning his dead son, accused his wife of “popping painkiller medication” during her pregnancy.
In an Instagram post mourning his son’s death, Erik Karlsson posted a photo of Axel’s tiny footprints. In the post, Karlsson thanked the city and the team’s fans for their love and support and wrote: “We feel very lucky to be Axel’s parents. Even though he was stillborn, we know we will hold him again one day under different circumstances and the joy he gave us will be with us forever.”
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.”
It’s been a hell of a ride for the Senators as of late.
They came into the 2017-18 with contention aspirations after losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final. After acquiring Matt Duchene in a mega-swap, the team completely imploded and quickly fell out of contention.
Rumours of beef between Karlsson, the team’s star and captain, and owner Eugene Melnyk fueled trade speculation fire as the organization seemed unlikely to pay the defender the salary he’s set to command as he reached free agency in July 2019.
This off-season, though, the Sens have had their Assistant General Manager arrested for alleged inappropriate touching of a 19-year-old and they had to recall an entire line of baby clothing due to a choking hazard.
Karlsson has very likely played his final game as a member of the Senators. That said, it seems all of the drama within this organization is just getting started.