The Senators traded the star defenceman to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, just one day before Ottawa hits the ice for training camp.
The Senators dealt Karlsson and prospect forward Francis Perron to the Sharks. Ottawa gets forwards Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers, defenceman Dylan DeMelo, prospect forward Josh Norris and two conditional draft picks. If San Jose re-signs Karlsson, Ottawa receives a conditional 2021 second-round selection — or a first-round pick (not lottery protected) if the Sharks reach the Stanley Cup final in 2019.
“I wish we were standing here in different circumstances. It’s an emotional and sad day,” said Karlsson in an emotional news conference. “I don’t think that I’ve ever in my wildest imagination thought that I would ever leave this place. But, unfortunately, we’re here under these circumstances and, again, that’s not something I’m going to go into detail about.
“I was prepared to come here and work hard for this team. I still have a year left on my deal but unfortunately, I couldn’t follow that through.”
Ottawa receives San Jose’s first-round choice in either 2019 or 2020 (not lottery protected). If the Sharks miss the playoffs in 2018-19, it will be a 2019 selection, otherwise, it will be in 2020. Ottawa gets a second-round choice in the 2019 draft from San Jose (which will be the higher of the two picks the Sharks currently own — the Florida Panthers’ and their own).
“Erik is an exceptional hockey player whose skills delighted our fans for the past nine years,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a statement. “We thank him for his dedication to hockey, and we wish him all the best.
“This is the right moment for us to rebuild our team, and shape our future with a faster, younger and more competitive team on the ice. We are going to build a culture of consistency which will allow this team to sustain better performance over the long term.”
Karlsson, a two-time Norris Trophy winner and the team’s captain, spent the last nine seasons in Ottawa.