TEAM TUR­MOIL LAID BARE

Erik KArls­son’s wife, MelindA, hAs filed An or­der of pro­teC­tion AgAinst the girl­friend of Sen­A­tors for­wArd Mike Hoff­mAn — Al­leg­ing A CAm­pAign of hArAss­ment After the deAth of the KArlssons’ son. re­ports.

Ottawa Citizen - - FRONT PAGE - Shaamini Yog­a­ret­nam

A se­ries of al­le­ga­tions by the wife of the cap­tain of the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors against a team­mate’s fi­ancée, de­tail­ing a sea­son-long cam­paign of tar­geted on­line harass­ment, threat­ens to up­end Ot­tawa’s locker-room, leav­ing the fu­tures of two of the team’s stars in ques­tion.

Melinda Karls­son, née Cur­rey, has filed an ap­pli­ca­tion for an or­der of pro­tec­tion against the long­time girl­friend of Sen­a­tors for­ward Mike Hoff­man, al­leg­ing a cam­paign of harass­ment that plagued the Karlssons after the death of their son and through much of the last NHL sea­son

The ap­pli­ca­tion for a peace bond, sworn be­fore Jus­tice of the Peace Louise Logue on May 4, alleges that Monika Caryk, Hoff­man’s part­ner, had threat­ened Melinda and hus­band Erik Karls­son from Novem­ber 2017 to the date the in­for­ma­tion was sworn to.

This news­pa­per has also learned that there is an ac­tive Ot­tawa po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the crim­i­nal harass­ment (stalking) al­le­ga­tions and that it is be­ing probed by cen­tral district de­tec­tives. No con­di­tions have been set out in the peace bond, which is sim­i­lar to a re­strain­ing or­der, since it was never served on Caryk.

Hoff­man and his camp, speak­ing on be­half of the for­ward and Caryk, ve­he­mently de­nied the al­le­ga­tions.

No crim­i­nal charges have been laid against Caryk and none of the al­le­ga­tions against her have been tested in court.

In late Novem­ber, the Karlssons an­nounced on so­cial me­dia they were ex­pect­ing their first child, a son they would later name Axel Michael who was still­born on March 19, 2018.

“Monika Caryk has ut­tered nu­mer­ous state­ments wish­ing my un­born child dead,” says Melinda’s sworn state­ment to the court. Erik, too, was al­legedly tar­geted. “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.”

Though the ap­pli­ca­tion was sworn in early May, nearly one month after the Sens’ sea­son ended in Bos­ton, team of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing gen­eral man­ager Pierre Do­rion, and Hoff­man have known about the al­le­ga­tions since the end of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

Reached Tues­day af­ter­noon after The Cit­i­zen broke the story, Hoff­man said, “There’s noth­ing re­ally for me to say at this time. That’s all I can say.”

In a sub­se­quent com­ment, Hoff­man said, “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.”

Hoff­man said the cou­ple be­lieves “there’s no place for cy­ber­bul­ly­ing.”

In March, Erik blasted an anony­mous on­line troll, who in the com­ments sec­tion of a post mourn­ing his dead son ac­cused Melinda of “pop­ping painkiller med­i­ca­tion” dur­ing her preg­nancy.

In an In­sta­gram post fol­low­ing his son’s death, Erik posted a photo of Axel’s tiny foot­prints. In the post, Karls­son thanked the city and fans for their 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 Erik 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.”

The user @sandy­dandy45 has since de­ac­ti­vated that ac­count.

This news­pa­per also found other so­cial-me­dia users com­ing to Melinda’s defence after Twit­ter user @pe­ter­son­megan 51 used an an­tibul­ly­ing event to in­sult her. That ac­count has also since been deleted.

“We’ve of­fered to co-op­er­ate and do any­thing it takes to find out who is do­ing this and sup­port (the Karlssons),” Hoff­man said, say­ing the Karlssons are be­ing ha­rassed, but deny­ing his fi­ancée’s in­volve­ment.

“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 re­cent weeks, Caryk cre­ated a new In­sta­gram pro­file, which she made pri­vate. That ac­count calls her a “pro­fes­sional packerun­packer,” “french­dog en­thu­si­ast” and “Cham­pagne lover.” After The Cit­i­zen pub­lished a story Tues­day de­tail­ing the al­le­ga­tions, a Face­book pro­file in her name was de­ac­ti­vated.

The peace bond ap­pli­ca­tion sworn against her May 4 or­dered a court date of May 25, but by that time Caryk had yet to be served with the no­tice.

Court fil­ings list her sum­mer ad­dress from June to Au­gust as be­ing in Water­loo, Ont. Her home from Sep­tem­ber to May — and dur­ing the NHL sea­son — is listed as the McKel­lar Park home owned by Hoff­man.

A peace bond, is­sued un­der Sec­tion 810 of the Crim­i­nal Code, is sim­i­lar to a re­strain­ing or­der, which typ­i­cally only ap­plies in fam­ily court sit­u­a­tions. A peace bond is an or­der of pro­tec­tion is­sued by a jus­tice of the peace when a per­son fears in­jury to them­selves or to their prop­erty or fears some­one is likely to com­mit a crim­i­nal of­fence, though one has not yet been com­mit­ted.

With the NHL draft and the be­gin­ning of free agency around the cor­ner — tra­di­tion­ally a time when teams test the trade waters — there has been much pub­lic spec­u­la­tion among hockey in­sid­ers that one if not both play­ers will be dealt.

Hoff­man’s agent Robert Hooper be­lieves it’s a cer­tainty.

Hooper said Hoff­man hasn’t asked for a trade, but said he wouldn’t stand in the way of one, ei­ther, and that Do­rion is aware of that.

“What we’ve in­di­cated to Pierre is that, and let’s call a spade a spade, it would be very dif­fi­cult for both par­ties — both Erik and Mike as well as the wives and the fi­ancées — to co­ex­ist in the same wives’ room and the same dress­ing room,” Hooper said.

No de­mands have been made to Do­rion from Hoff­man’s camp, but given the in­tense in­sider spec­u­la­tion, Hooper said, he thinks “the writ­ing ’s on the wall.

“In my 22 years in this busi­ness, I don’t be­lieve that I’ve ever come across a sit­u­a­tion like this,” Hooper said. “This is an ex­cep­tion­ally unique sit­u­a­tion and one that’s very un­for­tu­nate. Hope­fully it can get re­solved as quickly as pos­si­ble.”

Hooper said there have been sev­eral dis­cus­sions with Do­rion re­gard­ing the mat­ter.

“This isn’t some­thing we talked about with Pierre just to­day. We’ve been aware of this sit­u­a­tion since the end of the sea­son,” Hooper said.

The Sen­a­tors re­leased a state­ment Tues­day evening say­ing the or­ga­ni­za­tion is “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.”

Hoff­man’s agent also ex­pressed his con­fi­dence in Caryk’s in­no­cence and told The Cit­i­zen Hoff­man only learned of Melinda’s ap­pli­ca­tion from the news re­port.

“It’s a very del­i­cate and dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion,” Hooper said. “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.”

Hooper ex­pressed some frus­tra­tion and dis­ap­point­ment with only having “Mike and our side” find­ing out about the or­der of pro­tec­tion ap­pli­ca­tion from the me­dia and not the po­lice.

“I would have thought in this day and age ... I’m sur­prised they weren’t able to lo­cate Mike quicker than they have,” Hooper said.

(As a pri­vate peace bond ap­pli­ca­tion, the ap­pli­ca­tion was made by Melinda her­self, not the po­lice. And as Caryk was the only named de­fen­dant, the sum­mons can only be served on her, not Hoff­man.)

Hooper said that the for­ward and de­fence­man have not dis­cussed the is­sue.

“I think this has been be­tween Melinda and Monika and less be­tween Mike and Erik,” he said.

In nine sea­sons with the Sen­a­tors, Erik has es­tab­lished him­self as one of the great­est play­ers in the fran­chise’s his­tory.

He has fin­ished as the league’s top-scor­ing de­fence­man four times and has twice won the Nor­ris Tro­phy, the award given to the NHL’s top de­fender.

Erik has also led the Sen­a­tors in scor­ing for the past five years, though he shared the ti­tle with winger Mark Stone last sea­son, a dis­ap­point­ing cam­paign that saw the club miss the play­offs just one year after having come within a goal of mak­ing the Stan­ley Cup fi­nal.

Erik, who suc­ceeded Ja­son Spezza as the Sen­a­tors’ ninth cap­tain in 2014, signed a seven-year, $45-mil­lion deal in 2012. The an­nual av­er­age value of $6.5 mil­lion made him the league’s 14th high­est-paid de­fence­man last sea­son.

Erik is set to be­come an un­re­stricted free agent on July 1, 2019, leav­ing the Sen­a­tors with three op­tions be­fore that date: re-sign him, which would re­quire giv­ing him a sub­stan­tial raise, trade him or let him walk in free agency.

Hoff­man, mean­while, has been one of the Sen­a­tors’ most con­sis­tent goal-scor­ers dur­ing his ten­ure with the club.

He was se­lected in the fifth round of the 2009 draft, with the 130th pick over­all, and he has scored at least 20 goals in each of the last four sea­sons.

Hoff­man earned Calder Tro­phy con­sid­er­a­tion as the league’s top rookie in 2014-15, when he scored a team-high 27 goals. Play­ing on a one-year con­tract, he im­proved the to­tal to 29 goals the fol­low­ing sea­son.

Fol­low­ing the 2015-16 sea­son, he was re­warded with a four-year, $20.75-mil­lion deal, of which he is now half­way through.

The Karlssons did not re­turn a re­quest for com­ment.

Bruce Gar­rioch and Don Bren­nan con­trib­uted to this re­port

We have noth­ing to hide. We’re will­ing to co-op­er­ate in any­wayto solve this and fig­ure it out and prove that it wasn’t us.

MIKE HOFF­MAN, Sen­a­tors for­ward

Monika Caryk has ut­tered nu­mer­ous state­ments wish­ing my un­born child dead.

MELINDA KARLS­SON IN SWORN STATE­MENT AL­LEG­ING HARASS­MENT ON THE PART OF MIKE HOFF­MAN’S LONG­TIME GIRL­FRIEND

ASHLEY FRASER

TONY CALD­WELL

Sen­a­tors for­ward Mike Hoff­man said he is “150 per cent” sure his girl­friend Mon­ica Caryk is not in­volved with the harass­ment al­le­ga­tions lev­elled against her by Melinda Karls­son, the wife of Sen­a­tors star de­fence­man Erik Karls­son. Melinda has filed an or­der of pro­tec­tion against Caryk.

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