Monika Caryk, the girlfriend of Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman, is accused of engaging in a “season-long campaign of targeted online harassment” against the wife of the team’s captain, Erik Karlsson.
Melinda Karlsson, Erik’s wife, took the dispute to court, seeking an order of protection against Caryk. According to NBC Sports, the Ottawa Senators were one of the NHL’s worst teams last season. However, the turmoil on the ice appears to pale next to the drama off it. Hoffman and Caryk deny the accusations. Other players’ wives have come to Melinda’s defense.
The Senators have now traded Hoffman.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Melinda Says the Harassment Involved 1,000 Messages & Caryk Has Dated Hoffman for 10 Years
The application for the protection order accuses Monica Caryk of engaging in a campaign of harassment that dated back to November 2017, according to The Ottawa Citizen. Technically, Melinda applied for what is called a “peace bond” in Canada.
According to CBC, “a peace bond is a protection order that requires a person to keep the peace and be on good behaviour, and is used when that person appears likely to commit a criminal offence, but there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has actually been committed.”
Furthermore, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, which was first to break the story, reports there is a police investigation into Melinda’s accusations of criminal stalking, adding that Melinda alleged that “Monika Caryk has posted over 1,000 negative and derogatory statements about me as a professional.” According to CBS Sports, the accusations revolve around “burner accounts” used to deliver the messages.
According to FabWags, the Canadian-born Caryk has been dating Mike Hoffman for a decade. They are both from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Judging from their Facebook page photos, which date back years, it appears the couple met in their high school years. Some photos show Caryk with Hoffman’s family.
Some other former players’ wives are defending Melinda. Julie Turris, the wife of former Senators player Kyle Turris, wrote on Twitter, “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.”
Marlee Hammond, wife of former Senators player Andrew Hammond, wrote on Twitter, “oh man if you only knew how unsurprising this actually is. horrible just horrible. and the worst part of all of this is how @MelindaCurrey just wanted to keep this private because she’s THAT nice of a person even when a person can be this cruel to her.”
2. Some of the Messages Allegedly Mentioned the Karlssons’ Stillborn Son
Erik and Melinda Karlsson recently suffered a great tragedy; their son was stillborn earlier this year.
Melinda accuses Monika Caryk of using that tragedy in a vicious message, alleging, “Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead. She also uttered that she wished I was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ my husband’s legs to ‘end his career.'”
CBS Sports reports that one message from a possible burner account was left on an Instagram post that Erik made about the couple’s loss. “I feel bad for the baby he didn’t have a chance with Melinda popping pain killer medication everyday,” read the comment. It’s not definitively clear who was behind it. Karlsson responded to it, writing, “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.”
In the Instagram post, Erik Karlsson wrote about the pain in losing the boy named Axel.
“At this extremely difficult time it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but we know one day we’ll get there,” he wrote. “We would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received and also for respecting our privacy and the process we need to go through now. We feel very lucky to be Axels 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.”
In November 2017, he shared an ultrasound photo and wrote, “The most exciting news we have ever received arrived earlier this year. Can’t wait to meet you.”
In January, he wrote, “2017 was the last year it was just the 2 of us. Can’t wait for our new chapter in life.” In November 2017, he posted a wedding photo on Instagram and wrote, “A very happy birthday to the love of my life and the most beautiful wife in the world.”
3. Hoffman Denied the Accusations on Behalf of Caryk
Hoffman gave a brief comment to the Ottawa Citizen, the newspaper that broke the story. “There’s nothing really for me to say, at this time. That’s all I can say,” he said, before later telling the newspaper, “There is a 150 per cent chance that my fiancée Monika and I are not involved in any of the accusations that have been pursued (that are) coming our way.” He also told the newspaper “there’s no place for cyberbullying.” Hoffman has now set his Instagram page to private.
CBS Sports reports that Hoffman’s statement continued, “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.”
Hoffman’s agent told The Ottawa Citizen, “It’s a very delicate and difficult situation. At this stage, we haven’t been provided anything at this point in time that would indicate Mike or Monika is involved with this type of situation.” He added to the newspaper, “I think this has been between Melinda and Monika and less between Mike and Erik.”
Monika’s Twitter page is private, but her profile reads, “Don’t quit because something went wrong. Quit because you tried your hardest and nothing made it better.”
4. Monika Caryk Has a Degree in Criminology
Caryk’s LinkedIn page has now been deleted, as has her Instagram account. However, it previously reported that she attended Wilfrid, Laurier University and is a 2014 graduate who has a Bachelor Degree in Criminology. She has indicated she has a love for French bulldogs.
According to NBC Sports, the team said in a statement, “We are investigating this matter in co-operation with the NHL and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the safety and privacy of our players and their families.”
5. Caryk Has Worked as a Travel Agent
Monika Caryk’s LinkedIn page said she has held a variety of jobs, working as a promoter, for Ambercrombie & Fitch as a manager, and as a show store manager. Most recently, since 2015, she has worked as a travel agent at the Pro Travel Network, the page said before it was deleted. She was a runner in high school.