The Ottawa Senators are investigating allegations that the fiancee of forward Mike Hoffman repeatedly harassed defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife, the team announced.
Karlsson and his wife, Melinda, filed for a protective order against Monika Caryk, Hoffman’s fiancee, on May 4, alleging that Caryk has harassed the couple online since November.
Among the claims made by the Karlssons in the document, which was obtained by multiple media outlets: “Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead … 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 Karlssons’ first child, which was due in April, was stillborn in March.
“We are investigating this matter in cooperation with the NHL and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the safety and privacy of our players and their families,” the Senators said in a statement.
Hoffman denied the accusations to the Ottawa Citizen.
“There is a 150 percent chance that my fiancee, Monika, and I are not involved in any of the accusations that have been pursued (that are) coming our way,” he told the Citizen. “We totally understand there’s no place for cyberbullying.
“We’ve offered to cooperate 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 percent that it’s not us. We have nothing to hide. We’re willing to cooperate in any way to solve this and figure it out, and prove that it wasn’t us.”
Hoffman, 28, joined Ottawa as a fifth-round pick in 2011, two years after Ottawa made Karlsson their first-round pick. The two players have spent four-plus seasons as teammates since Hoffman was called up to the NHL on a full-time basis late in the 2013-14 campaign.
Hoffman has 224 points (104 goals, 120 assists) over the past four seasons, including 22 goals and 34 assists while playing all 82 games in 2017-18.
Karlsson, 28, has been the team’s captain for the last four seasons and has won two Norris Trophies as the league’s top defenseman. His name has surfaced in trade rumors for the last few months as he approaches the final year of his contract.
Karlsson had nine goals and 53 assists in 71 games in 2017-18.
The situation between the Karlssons and Caryk is not the only pending allegation of harassment involving a member of the Senators.
Assistant general manager Randy Lee will miss at least the first day of next week’s NHL draft for a court date stemming from his arrest on a second-degree harassment charge while he was in Buffalo, N.Y., for the NHL combine.
Lee’s passport was seized after he was arrested May 31 and charged June 1 for allegedly rubbing the shoulders of a 19-year-old male shuttle bus driver and making lewd comments. He pleaded not guilty on June 4 and was allowed to return to Canada.
Paul Cambria, Lee’s attorney, said Tuesday his client will attend his court appearance in Buffalo on Friday, the same day as the first round of the draft. The Senators hold the fourth and 22nd picks in the first round. The rest of the draft takes place Saturday.
Lee’s primary responsibilities include developing prospects and overseeing the team’s AHL affiliate in Belleville, Ontario. He has been with the Senators for the 23 seasons, including the last four in his current position.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said earlier this month he doesn’t anticipate Lee facing any jail time, although the charge is punishable by up to 15 days in jail.
—Field Level Media