Don’t Rush To Judgment In Karlsson Case


What do we really know in the harassment case of Erik Karlsson’s wife, Melinda? Not much.

We know that Melinda has been receiving horrible messages on Twitter hoping that the Karlssons and their baby die or that Karlsson’s legs are so broken he can no longer continue his career. Terrible.

We know that Melinda has applied for a peace bond alleging that Monika Carlyk, the partner of Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman, has been harassing the Karlssons.

Note, those are allegations. The police are investigating but saying nothing. They’re tight-lippped because they are not in a position to lay charges. Maybe they don’t have enough evidence. Maybe they are completing the investigation. Maybe they are just beginning. We don’t know.

We do know that no charges have been laid. We know that nothing has been proven in court. We also know that the information that is in the public realm is not privileged. This is not a statement of claim but in a lawsuit such a statement is wide open to lawsuits. It’s unlikely that peace bonds enjoy privilege either … for the media and the parties to the dispute. Welcome to the joys of journalism and the law.

If there is proof of who is behind the harassment, it has not been published. There are but allegations.

We know that Hoffman says he is “150-per-cent” sure that the messages to Melinda are not from his partner.

Obviously this situation is horrible … worse than anything else we’ve seen go on with the troubled Senators recently … but it will have effects on the franchise.

It will be a surprise if Ottawans are lining up for season tickets after this.

Most likely Hoffman will be traded because you can’t have this kind of controversy surrounding your team. Other NHL clubs will know the Sens are forced sellers so the return will be small. Maybe some clubs won’t want Hoffman at all. It’s not fair to Hoffman, but that’s how the world works.

If Karlsson wasn’t gone before, he’s gone now. The Sens would be wrong to pay $12 million a year for a gimpy-legged former superstar whose defensive liabilities are huge and whose hockey future is in doubt. Again the world isn’t fair, but the Sens don’t need this kind of controversy either, despite it not being Erik’s fault. Sometimes life is cruel.

No winners are emerging in this quagmire. Troubling consequences will unfold.

But let’s not rush to judgment. The facts are fuzzy and the truth still unknown.


Don’t expect to see this anymore at the Canadian Tire Centre.



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5 thoughts on “Don’t Rush To Judgment In Karlsson Case

  1. It’s all fine to tell the fan base at large that we shouldn’t be jumping to any conclusions, and you’re absolutely right about that, but the problem is that Eric Melinda are clearly convinced who is responsible for the harassment, with that I think the odds of re-signing Karlsson have just gone from unlikely to less than zero – even if the Sens trade Hoffman. The Sens House of Cards has really collapsed quite spectacularly this off-season hasn’t it? Okay, so a complete rebuild it is – I just hope the house cleaning also includes Melnyk.

    1. The Duke:

      Buddy, good to hear from you.

      Here’s what I’ve learned from 40 years in journalism. It’s never the thing that you’re looking for that gets you, it always something that comes as an absolute surprise.

      Expect some surprises in the Karlsson case.

      Don’t ask me what they are. I don’t know. But all this is based on allegations. That’s fertile ground for mistakes.

      Those are the ones that get you.



  2. Interesting that you’ve taken a level-headed approach to this unfortunate incident, Ken. It would be nice if the #metoo people did the same thing and realized that until proven otherwise, a statement made against another person is nothing more than an allegation.

    With all the stories about a new rink for the Sens, Eugene Melnyk, new ownership, Daniel Alfresson and Jim Watson, etc., it would be a shame if the team fell to ruin because of social networking.

    1. You’re right, Sisco.

      Too many people think this team is bullet-proof and will be here forever.

      Believe me, I covered the Senators when they came within a breath of going to Hamilton and only the Leafs stopped it.

      This team loses probably $7 million to $12 million a year. Even for people with much money, that gets tiresome.

      Other cities would love to have the Senators if Ottawa doesn’t want the club.



  3. You bet, Ken. After the showing by the Vegas Golden Knights this year and the improvement by the US on the world stage (eg. Olympic games, annual world championship), coupled with the fact the US didn’t go to this year’s World Cup of Soccer, Americans are “hungry for hockey” and would love to have a team in their city. When Eugene Melnyk bailed the Sens out, I don’t know how long ago, fans in Ottawa were thrilled. Now those same people are looking pretty fickle. Bear in mind one thing, Mr Melnyk holds more cards than any one person or group of people in Ottawa, one of which is an asset that’s worth well over half a billion dollars and he’s not going to just give it away.


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