NHL Trade Reaction: Erik Karlsson Heading Out West

NHL Trade Rumors

NHL Trade Alert: Erik Karlsson Traded to San Jose

After months of waiting, and rumored speculation, the saga involving the Ottawa Senators and Erik Karlsson is finally over. On the day training camps were opening up around the NHL, the Ottawa Senators traded their captain to the Western Conference. Erik Karlsson is now a member of the San Jose Sharks.

According Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the details of the trade are as follows:

Things on the Karlsson front started to heat up again, after the Ottawa Senators released a video on Monday night. In the video Senators owner Eugene Melnyk called  for a rebuild of the organization. Melnyk stated there would be fresh new faces once the Senators hit the ice in October.

Furthermore, Eugene Melnyk did not even mention Erik Karlsson during his sit down interview. This led to even more speculation that a trade involving the Senators captain was on the horizon.

Things had become toxic in Ottawa between Eugene Melnyk and Erik Karlsson. The idea of having Karlsson on the team with training camp about to open, would have been a receipt for disaster. With everything involving Erik Karlsson and his family over the summer, it was in the best interest of both parties a deal get done.

Interestingly enough, the prospects and picks the Senators got in return has to make a person wonder, did the Senators just want to get rid of Erik Karlsson so badly, they would take anything in return? Going back to the Senators were players Chris Tierney, Dylan MeMelo, Josh Norris, Rudolfs Balcers, a 2020 first round pick, a 2019 second round pick, and two conditional picks.

Here is where things get a little crazy. If the Sharks were to sign Karlsson to an extension, the Senators would receive a second round pick in 2021. That pick in 2021, would be upgraded to a first round pick if the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup Final. If the Erik Karlsson winds up back in the Eastern Conference on a reserve list, the Senators would get a first round pick no later than 2022.

Meanwhile on the Sharks side of things, San Jose just became one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Adding a player like Karlsson to the mix has solidified a back end that already had Brent Burns on it. With Joe Thornton getting up there in age, San Jose is going all out to win now. General Manager Doug Wilson should be applauded for what he has done to make this team better.

Over the years, the Sharks have always been in the mix as one of the destinations for players to go. So this should not shock anyone that San Jose landed Erik Karlsson. Back when Steven Stamkos was a free agent, the Sharks tried to get him to go West. Same thing happened during this past summer involving John Tavares. During the final few days, the Tavares decision came down to Toronto or San Jose.

Not only are the Sharks trying compete within the Pacific Division, but the Western Conference as as a whole. After the Golden Knights traded for Max Pacioretty the arms race in the Pacific Division was on. Vegas had their shot at Erik Karlsson, but the deal fell through at the trade deadline. Vegas and San Jose will be battling for the top spot in not only the Pacific, but the Western Conference. These two teams will be exciting to watch come this season.

For a player of Karlsson’s caliber, the return was not enough. Instead of getting quality, the Senators received quantity.  That is not how you make your organization better. Looking back on it now, there were definitely some better trades on the board the Senators could make. In the end, both parties just wanted to get the deal done.

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Photo Credit: By Michael Miller (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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