Erik and Melinda Karlsson at the 2017 NHL Awards last summer.
Photo: Bruce Bennett (Getty)

Here is an utterly bizarre story from the Ottawa Citizen: Melinda Karlsson, wife of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, has filed an order of protection against a woman she accuses of harassing her and her husband, including after the death of their stillborn baby. The woman accused is Monika Caryk, the longtime girlfriend of Senators forward Mike Hoffman.

“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 Citizen reports that a police investigation is ongoing, though no criminal charges have been filed yet.

The allegations appear to concern anonymous social media posts, with Melinda Karlsson accusing Caryk of using burner Instagram accounts to leave disturbing and threatening comments on Erik Karlsson’s posts. The Citizen reports one instance, from March, soon after the Karlssons lost their unborn son Axel a month before his due date.

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.”

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Both that account and another attacking Melinda have since been deactivated.

Hoffman has been with the Senators since 2010, Erik Karlsson since 2008. One or both was already expected to be traded this summer; this seems like it would guarantee it.

Update (4:00 p.m. ET): Mike Hoffman has issued a statement:

“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.”

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[Ottawa Citizen]