Given the massive upgrade made by the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer in John Tavares, the Bolts' failure to land Karlsson keeps the 2018-19 regular season power struggle in the Atlantic Division between the Bruins, Leafs, and Lightning relatively balanced.
"It's one of those deals when you're dealing with a trade at this level, you want to be on the ground, and be there in person in case anything needs to be addressed", Wilson said from Ottawa in a phone interview Thursday on The Happy Hour.
Karlsson will face his Ottawa teammates for the first time on December 1 at the Canadian Tire Centre, while the Senators visit San Jose on January 12. But Wilson stayed in touch with the Senators, and said the teams reached a deal because Ottawa was looking to get something done quickly. Since then, he's won another Norris Trophy (2015) and finished runner-up twice (2016-17). That was lost as a result of the Matt Duchene trade the Sens made last year, nor did they get a '19 first round pick from the Sharks (they sent that to Buffalo for Evander Kane last year), meaning this year-long failure is going to absolutely be for nothing that benefits Ottawa.
The team struggled last season and many supporters on the streets of downtown Ottawa on Thursday said it was a clear sign that a rebuild is necessary - which means it was also time for a high-priced player like Karlsson to move on. However, the Sharks aren't the only team inquiring with the Senators for Karlsson. "We think Erik fits with us now and for a long time". He's expressed that to us, that we are a place he'd like to be, and same thing [for] us back to him. In 627 career regular season games over nine seasons with Ottawa, he has tallied 126 goals and 518 points.
"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.
An emotional Karlsson said even though there had been no shortage of speculation, the deal still caught him off guard.
Balcers spent last season in the AHL and Norris was a first-round pick in 2017 and entering his sophomore season at MI.
"I'm just going to speak from the heart", Karlsson said.
Karlsson entered the National Hockey League as the No. 15 overall pick in the 2008 draft by Ottawa. His comments led to the creation of the #MelnykOut hashtag on Twitter, which prompted him to eventually backtrack on his chatter about relocation. He said he's still upset with how the club handled former star players like Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza.
Though there had been talk about Karlsson's departure since the trade deadline last February, this will still come as a shock.