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Game #24 – Hawks vs. Panthers Douchebag Du Jour: Are You Dumb Bastards Listening to Me, You Dumb Bastards?

Imagine dating a good hockey player in 2018. Imagine that the good hockey player you’re dating is teammates with a generational talent and face of the franchise for which they both play. Imagine that you, in your own words, “fall out of favour” with that generational player’s wife, based on “noticing fewer likes on Instagram and Facebook.” Imagine going online and anonymously harassing that woman for months, saying that her recently stillborn baby “didn’t have a chance” because she was “popping pain killer medication everyday [sic],” saying you wish this woman were dead, and wishing someone would end her husband’s career. Then imagine that the good hockey player that you’re dating has to be traded not once but twice because of what a gigantic piece of shit you are.

Thus is the story of how Mike Hoffman, a good if not great hockey player, ended up in Florida, a state befitting some of the biggest piles of human garbage America has to offer. We touched on what a sharps-disposal container Ottawa is as a franchise, but the Melinda Karlsson–Monika Caryk debacle probably outpaces everything else.

While 99% of the douchebaggery here comes from Monika Caryk—who, in case you haven’t pieced it together is Mike Hoffman’s now-fiancée—there’s enough shittiness to go around to qualify Hoffman as a douchebag here. To clarify and nutshell this story, here’s what happened:

  • Erik Karlsson’s wife, Melinda, alleged that Monika Caryk, Hoffman’s girlfriend at the time, harassed her and her husband in “over 1,000 negative and derogatory statements” beginning in November 2017, right around the time the Karlssons announced that they were having a baby.
  • The baby was stillborn in March 2018, and someone went online and accused Melinda of abusing painkillers, implying that that’s what caused the stillbirth. Melinda believed that it was Caryk who did it, and applied for a peace bond (basically, a restraining order) against Caryk in May.
  • Caryk and Hoffman denied that they had anything to do with any of it. Hoffman tried showing Erik Karlsson documents (obtained from an “IT contact” Caryk “reached out to”) that supposedly showed Caryk wasn’t making anonymous posts six days after the stillbirth (Karlsson refused to look at them).
  • Caryk was never served the peace bond.

So after all that, Hoffman gets traded to the Sharks, and then the Panthers. All the while, Hoffman goes to bat for his girlfriend, which in a case that seems like “she said she said” would make sense.

But consider the fact that five other wives and one girlfriend of Senators players—Kodette LaBarbera (Jason), Taylor Winnik (Daniel), Hayley Thompson (Mark Stone), Marlee Hammond (Andrew), Camille Pageau (J.G.), and Julie Turris (Kyle)—all shared some iteration of Caryk treating the Karlssons, especially Melinda, like shit. That’s an awful lot of independent accounts sharing a similar story, too many in my book to call this a “she said she said.” Consider too that Caryk has readily admitted to have made “unflattering observations about the Karlssons,” blaming it on her own drunkenness and “others twisting her own words.” My douchebag BINGO card just needs an “It was just a joke.”

But this is the NHL, where talent makes up for any number of character flaws a player might have. And wouldn’t you know it, appropriately named Panthers coach Bob Boughner took the lead in proving once again that the NHL doesn’t give a shit about women if you can score 20 goals, saying:

“All that stuff that happened in Ottawa, I don’t believe half of it.”

Of fucking course you don’t, Bob. Why believe the accounts of up to seven women when you can just sit down with people who have a vested interest in denying what happened because the guy you want on your team might get your wildly disappointing team over the hump?

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

“And the other half, I knew it wasn’t going to be an issue. I went down with my wife to Waterloo and took him and his fiancée out for dinner. It was a good meeting. I said to my wife afterwards: ‘They’re good people. They’re really good people.’ You could tell instantly.”

Never mind explaining what made them good people, because we all know that scoring 20 goals and putting up 60 points is what makes a man good in this urinal league.

And you better fucking believe Uncle Dale backed that up, calling Hoffman “a perfect fit” for the team because the Panthers have “a strong culture” and that “We feel that that’s in the past and the distractions.” THAT’S IN THE PAST AND THE DISTRACTIONS! In the most tongue-twisting corporate-speak this side of Bill Lumbergh, Tallon tried to justify trading for a guy who was locker room poison in motherfucking Ottawa, because the absurdity train of the NHL is never, ever fucking late.

Hoffman is a douchebag for haranguing Karlsson about his girlfriend’s innocence six days after his son was stillborn (because that’s foremost on Karlsson’s mind, you see) and supporting his now-fiancée who, by at least five independent accounts from other Senators’s players’ wives, went to extreme lengths to harass a woman who, in Caryk’s own words, stopped liking shit on her Instagram and Facebook.

I have a hard time believing that they would all tell similar stories about Caryk’s shittiness just because. Coupled with the fact that no one has provided an ounce of support for Caryk besides the guy who’s marrying her, it’s hard to disbelieve the douchiness Hoffman and Caryk share.

While the courts have sort of washed their hands of all this, there’s enough evidence here for the court of douchebaggery to warrant consideration for Caryk (for being a piece of shit) and Hoffman (for supporting this piece of shit). But how about that 17-game point streak Mike had for himself?

They’re good people. You could tell instantly.

Game #24 Preview Suite

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Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

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