After pulling off his biggest trade in more than a decade, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson made it crystal clear that he expects defenseman Erik Karlsson to be wearing a teal sweater for much longer than just the one season left on his current contract. "We felt that now is the time to trade Erik Karlsson". For the Sharks, his acquisition is a game-changer that could alter the course of their franchise, much like Karlsson's departure will shake the foundation in Ottawa. Karlsson, she told him, was the only reason why she loved the team.
In the end, the defenceman and the Senators did not see eye to eye - with the deal being done on the eve of the first on-ice session at training camp.
Karlsson rumors are indeed intensifying, however talking to people I get the sense that most of the people/chatter implying this is "really close to happening" is being driven once again by Ottawa's desire to force the hand of some of the teams with which they have discussed Karlsson.
With the season right around the corner, this deal could be finished soon.
Or put another way, the two-time Norris Trophy victor, the five-time franchise-leading scorer and the guy who carried the Senators to within a double overtime whisker of the Stanley Cup final on one healthy leg, was shipped out to the San Jose Sharks precisely because he was also the club's MVR - most valuable resource. Oh, and here's where you can mention that the Senators do not possess their 2019 first-round pick, either.
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Karlsson, who said he'll return to Ottawa in the off-season, thanked the organization along with the late Bryan Murray and former captain Daniel Alfredsson.
"I think it will be an extremely competitive team", he said.
"It's very unfortunate that I'm going to have to move on professionally", Karlsson said. "I never wanted to leave this place, but at the same time I respect their decision". Nine years ago on September 12, 2009, the Senators dealt winger Dany Heatley to the Sharks on the first day of camp.
Karlsson had nine goals and 53 assists last season for Ottawa. Given the massive upgrade made by the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer in John Tavares, the Bolts' failure to land Karlsson keeps the 2018-19 regular season power struggle in the Atlantic Division between the Bruins, Leafs, and Lightning relatively balanced.
Karlsson, a potential 2019 unrestricted free agent, is now the top-ranked fantasy defenseman by NHL.com and worth targeting in the first round of a standard 12-team draft.
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Will they be treated objectively by a frustrated fan base naturally looking to vent at what has been lost?
Through it all, Karlsson's future remained a key talking point ahead of February's trade deadline. He was suspended by the team two weeks after being charged.
Karlsson's reaction to the news is not so surprising.
Hoffman, who was traded a week later, and Caryk have denied the allegations.
Lee, who was also GM of the Senators' AHL affiliate, resigned from both jobs with the organization last month.
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