Published: Sat, September 15, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Sharks happy to get 'elite' Karlsson

Sharks happy to get 'elite' Karlsson

In exchange for Karlsson, the Senators received forward Chris Tierney, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, a first-round pick in 2020, a second-round selection in 2019, and two conditional picks.

The all-world blue-liner is a pending unrestricted free agent entering the final year of the seven-year, $45-million pact he inked with the Senators in 2012, at a cap hit of $6.5 million.

"It's extremely rare that players of this calibre become available", Wilson told the club's website. "The word "elite" is often thrown around casually but Erik's skillset 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 felt that now is the time to trade Erik Karlsson".

If the Senators chose to make this move now, that means contract talks they were having with Karlsson's camp were going nowhere and he had no plans to re-sign here. He explained how Ottawa made out in a deal that the team seemed destined to lose from the moment Karlsson's name appeared in trade rumours. Ottawa gets a second-round choice in the 2019 draft from San Jose (which will be the higher of the two picks the Sharks now own - the Florida Panthers' and their own).

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Normally, a trade between teams out of Colorado's division and not involving them would just be fun fodder for dissecting the deal but this one actually has a chance to have a significant impact on the Avalanche. Karlsson played nine seasons in Ottawa. However, the Sharks aren't the only team inquiring with the Senators for Karlsson. "We are going to build a culture of consistency which will allow this team to sustain better performance over the long term".

If the Sharks end up flipping Karlsson back to an Eastern Conference team like they did with Mike Hoffman, they'll also have to send a first-round pick to Ottawa no later than 2022.

Erik Karlsson is no rental in Doug Wilson's eyes.

The Sharks never let up in their interest in Karlsson and made the addition without giving up a top-six forward or top-four defenseman from the current roster. He had career highs with 17 goals and 23 assists and played all 82 games. Fantasy hockey owners will surely be circling around San Jose with two of the game's most productive defenders playing on the same team.

The 22-year old Perron was drafted 190th overall in the seventh round of the 2014 draft by the Senators. There were thousands of empty seats for some games last season, and the organization figures to face a similar challenge in 2018-19.

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