Karlsson traded to Sharks

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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. "But for us to be where we need to be for the long term in this rebuild, we had to make this decision at this point in time".

The Sharks caught everyone off guard Thursday morning when they acquired two-time Norris Trophy victor and four-time All-Star Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators for a package of players and draft picks. Norris was a 2017 first-round pick by the Sharks, and posted eight goals and 23 points in 37 games with his freshman season with MI a year ago.

Karlsson has one year remaining on his seven-year contract worth $45.5 million signed in 2012. 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.

"I think it will be an extremely competitive team", he said.

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"Maybe I'd be better off cheering for another team. I still have a year on my deal and, unfortunately, I couldn't follow through".

A five-time All-Star, he has been the Senators' captain the last four seasons. Only the Detroit Red Wings (28.9 average age) had an older roster than Ottawa (28.5). He was the Senators' first-round pick in 2008 (15th overall).

Karlsson also has six goals and 31 assists in 48 career playoff games.

Karlsson had been rumored to be on the move since before last season's trade deadline, with the Sharks closely monitoring the situation throughout.

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"They are younger guys, I kinda came with them here, obviously got to hand around with them and get to know them pretty well, so it's tough seeing guys like that leaving, but I think it's a great chance for them to go somewhere else and show what they can do". Forward Francis Perron is headed to the Sharks along with Karlsson. Now they have added one of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League to that group.

Either way, it was hard for them to say goodbye to the smooth-skating fan favourite, who is among the best blueliners in the game. "We just don't want to have the inconsistencies that we've had in the past 10 years of making the [Stanley Cup Playoffs], not making the playoffs". "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". "What we did here today was make sure that our rebuild was going to be as successful as possible".

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. "The timeline Ottawa was operating on was prior to the season and it worked well for us".

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