It’s been a long journey to become the most pitied team in the NHL, but it seems the Ottawa Senators have finally clinched the top spot.
For those who have been living under a rock, or are still nursing wounds from last May’s playoffs, the Ottawa Senators have become a catastrophe practically overnight. If it wasn’t so hard to look away from the hot blaze of their organization going up in flames, it might actually be downright impressive.
To begin — in June, the Sens assistant GM Randy Lee was charged with second-degree harassment after making lewd comments to a hotel bus driver when in Buffalo for the combine. He was fined, but is not expected to serve any jail time. This piece of news doesn’t even crack the top Sens’ stories of the summer… so buckle up.
Then came a particularly unsavory ordeal involving their (now former) forward, Mike Hoffman. In the wake of a mediocre season for the Sens, telenovela worthy drama arose between Hoffman, his fiancé, Monika Caryk, as well as (then Captain) Erik Karlsson, and his wife, Melinda.
Tragically, back in March, the Karlsson’s child was stillborn and they were reeling in the wake of that death. But then it came to light that Hoffman’s fiancé, Caryk, was allegedly harassing Melinda Karlsson throughout this trying time.
In a statement sworn in court, Melinda Karlsson stated, “Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead… she also uttered that she wished I was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ my husband’s legs to ‘end his career.’”
Hoffman and Caryk obviously denied the accusations, but to be fair, it didn’t do them much good. Their reputations had been ruined… exhibited by Hoffman’s trigger trade to the San Jose Sharks, and then their lightspeed turnaround to shove him off to the Florida Panthers. All of which happened over the course of about four hours.
With Hoffman gone, all should be peaceful with the Senators, right?
Oh, so wrong.
In what has to be the most confusing trade of the summer, the San Jose Sharks acquired Erik Karlsson from the Sens for a low pittance of some young gun talent and spotty draft picks. Most of the draft picks aren’t concrete and contain loads of conditions. As for those young guns, San Jose arguably kept their best talent. There’s no doubt which team made out better.
As ever-loyal as sports fans are, Sens fans are probably questioning what is left for them to be optimistic about. They’re not the only ones. Sens GM Pierre Dorion was asked that very question on Rogers Sportsnet before the Senators’ pre-season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“We’re a team…”
Cherish this — it’s an exceptional moment in Sens history.
So, that’s it, folks. Sens fans have to be optimistic about the bare minimum requirement to exist in the NHL. That is to say, not much at all. There’s always room for a Cinderella comeback, but until then, hug your local Sens fan a little tighter tonight.