Back in September when we all found out that Erik Karlsson was being traded to the San Jose Sharks, every Ottawa Senators fan lost a little piece of themselves. Just like Daniel Alfredsson’s return to Ottawa, Erik Karlsson will be making his first appearance against his former club on December 1st.
How the trade has panned out so far
When looking at the trade from a fan’s point of view, the Senators fans felt like they could have received so much more in return. Fast forward to present day, that trade is looking better and better by the day. Erik Karlsson hasn’t had a bad season by any means, he just hasn’t been having a “King Karlsson” kinda of season so far. With 2G/13A for 15 points, he still sits 8th among Sharks players in points. Meanwhile the return Ottawa received for Karlsson hasn’t been doing too bad either.
Chris Tierney is sitting pretty with 18 points (3G/15A), Dylan DeMelo siting with 7 points (2G/5A) and having a solid defensive year. Josh Norris while still playing with the U of Michigan has 16 points (8G/8A) in 13 GP and Rudolfs Balcers is sitting pretty in Belleville with 13 points (7G/6A). Also keeping in consideration that Ottawa still has the Shark’s 1st Rd pick in 2019 or 2020 and a 2nd Rd pick as well.
What to expect Saturday
Besides the obvious of having the media swarm Erik Karlsson on his return, you could fully expect the Ottawa Senators to roll out the red carpet, have something a little more than a short video tribute during intermission. If we are being honest here, Karlsson has mentored a lot of people on that team and has done more than almost any Ottawa Senator in history for that community. The fans will cheer, take pictures and reminisce about times that passed. Meanwhile Erik Karlsson will be emotional and will come out guns blazing. You bet he wants to make Eugene Melnyk and Pierre Dorion regret ever trading him. As fun as this morning game will be to watch, the hopes is that the Ottawa Senators could shut him and this Sharks team down.
What really happened?
It’s no secret, there was a lot of animosity between Erik Karlsson and Eugene Melnyk/Pierre Dorion, but who’s fault was it? Dorion came out with a statement at the town hall saying they offered Karlsson a contract, terms were never revealed but it was believed to be in the 10 million per season for 8 season. In the end, both the organization and Karlsson thought a break up is what was needed from both sides. Some fans are still holding out hope that Karlsson will go back to Ottawa after his season with the Sharks, but the relationships might be to damaged to come back from.
Next season is still far into the future but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate as to where Erik Karlsson and the Ottawa Senators will be. If the Sharks cannot sign the superstar long term, they might flirt with the idea of trading him at the deadline. Karlsson seems to have had a hard time adjusting to his new team, that being said, everyone wants to play long term in California! The Dallas stars could still want to offer him a long term deal. Reuniting him with Methot and Spezza would be fun to watch.
As for the Ottawa Senators, GM Pierre Dorion needs to do a lot of soul searching. Ottawa is in dire need of a goalie and some veteran defensemen. Would not surprise me to see Dorion trying to make a couple of moves, trading away some of the Senators future like Norris or Balcers, possibly even Wolanin. Trading these guys would not be a popular option among Senators fans but this might be the only option for Ottawa to get some good, NHL established defensemen.