Published: Sun, September 16, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

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

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

"As of right now, it's extremely emotional and sad moment", said Karlsson, his voice catching in his throat.

Oh, and the Bruins absolutely do not have to worry about Karlsson torching them in April again if the Senators somehow repeated their straight-up freaky trend of having one bad year (last year) followed by a playoff-caliber year. In return, the Senators will get a first-round pick in 2019 or 2020, centre Chris Tierney, a second-round pick in 2019 (the best of the two San Jose now has), prospect centre Josh Morris, prospect Rudolfs Balcers, and defenceman Dylan DeMelo.

With Karlsson headlining the deal - and the multitude of pieces sent the other way - Perron's name will likely get lost in the shuffle. Many interpreted it as a sign that Karlsson's days in Ottawa were numbered. The picks they're sending are a loss, but an acceptable one, and the price only goes up with conditional picks if the Sharks are able to sign Karlsson to an extension (which would make this a huge win for them anyway) or if they trade him back to an Eastern Conference team this year (which is unlikely, but they could do it for enough to overcome that penalty).

The Ottawa Senators promised they were going into rebuild mode earlier this week. Even if you expect the Senators to be going through a rebuild for the next 3-5 years, Karlsson will still be good by the time the next wave of prospects are ready to be apart of a competitive team. Karlsson now has one year left on an expiring contract that will pay him $7.5 million next season but has a cap hit of $6.5 million.

In Karlsson, whose 518 points are by far the most of any defenceman since he entered the National Hockey League in 2009, San Jose gets the difference-maker it was hoping for when it pursued free agent centre John Tavares. Since then, he's won another Norris Trophy (2015) and finished runner-up twice (2016-17).

"They made it very clear with the direction they were going in - and I wasn't part of that", Karlsson said.

Karlsson had 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists) in 71 games last season. A two-time Norris Trophy victor as the NHL's top blueliner, he has 126 goals and 518 points in 627 games.

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The Sharks made the addition without giving up a top-six forward or top-four defenseman. "As you said, there's been a lot of noise for nearly a year now, but I never in my wildest imagination thought that I was going to leave this place".

"Ultimately, to acquire a player like this, you have to give to get and we are losing some quality players but also some very good people", Wilson said.

Only the big Swede knows exactly why things got to the point where the Senators felt they had to trade him, but it's not hard to come up with a list of what would have been contributing factors.

The 24-year old Tierney was drafted 55th overall in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Sharks.

Karlsson put the Senators on his shoulders in the 2017 playoffs, leading them in scoring with 18 points - including two game-winning goals - in 19 contests, averaging more 28 minutes of ice time despite having torn tendons in his left foot, which required off-season surgery.

DeMelo played mostly on San Jose's third defensive pair last season when he had no goals and 20 assists in 63 games. If the Sharks sign Karlsson, it becomes a first-round pick.

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