The basement dwellers of the Atlantic Division continue their descent into professional hockey's abyss Thursday, as the Ottawa Senators traded captain Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks for six assets they hope spark an obvious rebuild in Ottawa. "We spoke about it (Tuesday) in our rebuild plan, we definitely know the room was broken and that's not always on one individual".
An emotional Karlsson said even though there had been no shortage of speculation, the deal still caught him off guard. I know this all too well, because I too was told just last week that this would get done soon, and Kevin Allen of USA Today came on our podcast last week and said a few GMs felt it would be done in a few days as well.
"We were looking for a difference-maker and there were really probably two main ones, both John and Erik over the last little while", Wilson said.
"I think they made it very clear in what direction they were going with and unfortunately I wasn't part of that and I respect that it's their decision", he said.
"He's going to go somewhere and have a better chance to win a cup", said Schlathau, who thinks the franchise as a whole is facing existential challenges. "I never wanted to leave this place, but at the same time I respect their decision".
Karlsson, who said he'll return to Ottawa in the off-season, thanked the organization along with the late Bryan Murray and former captain Daniel Alfredsson.
"Maybe I'd be better off cheering for another team".
Given the current marketplace for top defencemen, sources say the Senators offered a deal in excess of $80 million over eight years during conversations with his camp on July 1.More news: Erdogan appoints himself as head of Turkey wealth fund
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Karlsson, a two-time victor of the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, has one year at a $6.5 million cap hit remaining on his contract before he's eligible to hit unrestricted free agency in 2019.
Most reaction to the trade has been "Ottawa did not get almost enough".
Beyond Karlsson, the concern is what happens next with Mark Stone and Matt Duchene, who are also due to become unrestricted free agents next summer. He made his Senators debut in 2009 and won his first Norris Trophy two years later at age 21. It's been happening really fast. It has been happening really fast, even though there has been a lot of noise for nearly a year now.
The 28-year old Karlsson was drafted 15th overall in the first round of the 2008 draft.
Through it all, Karlsson's future remained a key talking point ahead of February's trade deadline. Karlsson played nine seasons in Ottawa. Tierney, 24, set a career-high with 40 points in 82 games with the Sharks last season.
If the Senators decided to make this move now, that means contract talks they were having with Karlsson's camp were going nowhere and he had no plans to re-sign here.
"Yes, it's a longterm approach", Wilson said on a conference call, when asked about a potential contract extension for the two-time Norris Trophy victor and five-time All-Star.