Sport

Sharks GM sees Karlsson in San Jose's long-term plans

Sharks GM sees Karlsson in San Jose's long-term plans”

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.

General manager Doug Wilson stood pat for most of the summer after Tavares signed with Toronto before pouncing when another superstar was available the day before San Jose opened training camp.

The Ottawa Senators have traded captain Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks.

Karlsson was entering the final year of a seven-year, $45 million contract. 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. "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". Getting to play on a defence corps which includes the likes of Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic sounds like something he'll probably get used to pretty quickly. And they also failed to ditch the disastrous Bobby Ryan contract, which was a massive road block in trade talks with teams like the Vegas Golden Knights. That pick becomes a first if the Sharks make the Stanley Cup Final in 2019.

After watching the Matt Duchene saga hang over the Colorado Avalanche previous year, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion clearly did not want to enter his season with his disgruntled star still on the roster. "This trade represents the best opportunity for the Ottawa Senators to rebuild towards a consistent excellence that we are striving for". A two-time Norris Trophy victor as the NHL's top blueliner, he has 126 goals and 518 points in 627 games. He also led the team in average ice time (26:44, 3rd in the NHL), was second in blocked shots (120) and takeaways (55) and second in scoring with 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists). Over the years, Wilson has acquired players like Thornton, Burns, Kane and Dan Boyle in trades and signed all of them to long-term deals.

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.

The decision to deal Karlsson isn't going over well in Ottawa - not only was he the club's best player, he was also one of the most popular to ever pull on the jersey, second only to Alfredsson. Karlsson was already projected to lead all defensemen in points by NHL.com prior to the trade, and now could feasibly challenge his NHL career high of 82 points from 2015-16. He has 41 goals and 63 assists in 284 career 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. Hoffman, one of the team's most productive forwards, was dumped to the Sharks, who quickly moved him to the Panthers.

Perron was a seventh-round pick in 2014 and spent the past two seasons in the AHL.



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