Sports

NHL Rumors: Senators Trade Erik Karlsson To San Jose Sharks

NHL Rumors: Senators Trade Erik Karlsson To San Jose Sharks

One of the longest trade sagas in the National Hockey League is finally over as the Senators sent superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson to the Sharks on Thursday.

Karlsson is a two-time Norris Trophy victor and led or tied the Senators in scoring the past five years. "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".

For now Erik Karlsson makes San Jose one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Ottawa gets forwards Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers, defenceman Dylan DeMelo, prospect forward Josh Norris and two conditional draft picks.

Talk about the Karlsson trade also veered into discussion about the team's controversial owner, Eugene Melnyk. He explained how Ottawa made out in a deal that the team seemed destined to lose from the moment Karlsson's name appeared in trade rumours.

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Karlsson, whose contract expires at the end of this season, doesn't quite see it that way.

"I don't comment on contract negotiations, but I will say that we've had extensive conversations with his agents, and we feel extremely comfortable making this deal today with where we're sitting", Wilson said. "All of the players leaving our organization have a very bright future in this league and we wish them all the best". 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. The move comes on the eve of the first on-ice session at Senators training camp.

Erik Karlsson is on the move.

The Senators have said they are entering a rebuilding period and are planning to go with a young roster this season. "This trade represents the best opportunity for the Ottawa Senators to rebuild towards a consistent excellence that we are striving for".

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Last season, Melnyk angered Ottawa fans by musing to reporters that he might move the club if ticket sales didn't pick up. 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).

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 24-year old Tierney was drafted 55th overall in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Sharks. He had career highs with 17 goals and 23 assists and played all 82 games. The 6-foot-1 DeMelo is next in line, with 20 assists in 63 games a year ago while averaging 14:12 per game, and has three goals and 32 points in 133 career games with the Sharks.

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

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