The hockey world was rocked on September 14, 2018 when the Ottawa Senators did the unthinkable and traded two time Norris winner Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks. The events leading up to the trade would like to be avoided by all parties involved I am sure. Karlsson will be a free agent on July 1st, 2019, unless he signs an extension before then.
There had been allegations by Melinda Karlsson accusing Monika Caryk (Mike Hoffman’s girlfriend) of harassment against the Karlsson’s. The Ottawa Citizen, a local Ottawa newspaper has mentioned that there is an active ongoing criminal investigation into the harassment and or stalking allegations. I am not going to go into detail on how this all happened. Here is a link to the Ottawa Citizen article.
The Senators sent Karlsson to the Sharks in exchange for Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers, defenceman Dylan DeMelo, prospect forward Josh Norris and two conditional draft picks. If San Jose re-signs Karlsson, Ottawa receives a conditional 2021 second-round selection — or a first-round pick (not lottery protected) if the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup final in 2019. The Senators also gave up Francis Perron in the deal.
In a news conference after the trade Karlsson had this to say.
“I wish we were standing here in different circumstances. It’s an emotional and sad day,” said Karlsson in an emotional news conference. “I don’t think that I’ve ever in my wildest imagination thought that I would ever leave this place. But, unfortunately, we’re here under these circumstances and, again, that’s not something I’m going to go into detail about. I was prepared to come here and work hard for this team. I still have a year left on my deal but unfortunately I couldn’t follow that through.”
San Jose Sharks General Manager, Doug Wilson had this to say after making the deal.
“It’s extremely rare that players of this calibre become available,” The word elite is often thrown around casually but Erik’s skill-set and abilities fit that description like few other players in today’s game. With Erik, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, we feel we have three of the NHL’s top defencemen and stand as a better team today than we were yesterday. We are thrilled to welcome Erik and his wife, Melinda, to San Jose.”
Erik Karlsson is now 28 years old and in the prime of his career. Erik was drafted in the first round, 15th overall by the Senators in 2008. Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty went #1 and #2 in 2008. Lots of teams passed on Karlsson. Kicking themselves now. Erik Karlsson plays almost 28 minutes per 60. He has averaged 76 points a season over the last three seasons. Erik plays 4 minutes a night on the PP on average and has posted 25 points a year on the PP on average over the last three seasons.
Edmonton Oiler GM, Peter Chiarelli had this to say about the trade.
“I won’t lie. When he came to our division there was a little bit of an expletive coming out of my mouth. But, you know, he’d be nice to have here. We weren’t on his list. It was really a non-starter from the beginning. But they got one puck over there, they got a lot of good defenceman. So we’ll see what happens there. But that’s a heckuva ‘d’ over there now… Certainly they’ve strengthened their team.”
Erik Karlsson joining the San Jose Sharks is downright scary. San Jose already boasts the second best blue-liner in the game in Brent Burns. Now they will have the top 2 defenseman in the league and like Doug Wilson mentioned earlier, Marc-Edouard Vlasic is no slouch. Look out Western Conference and especially the Pacific division. There is a new sheriff in the conference and his name is Erik Karlsson. I am not the coach of the Sharks but one has to think they will pair Karlsson with Vlasic and Burns with Braun. Wow that is a formidable top 4.