Senators trade Erik Karlsson to San Jose Sharks

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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.

In that regard, Senators general manager Pierre Dorion, who once famously declared that "on the eighth day, God created Erik Karlsson", did his best to try to strip away the passion and Karlsson's history with the organization from the trade equation.

General manager Doug Wilson began the offseason by making a run to add John Tavares to the Sharks.

After the Karlsson trade, the Sharks can load up their first power-play unit with a two-defensemen set (Karlsson and Burns) and fantasy-relevant forwards Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture. The superstar spent nine seasons playing for the Senators, and things certainly did not end on the best of terms. That pick becomes a first if the Sharks make the Stanley Cup Final in 2019. Included in the deal are forward Chris Tierney and defenseman Dylan Demelo, according to longtime reporter Elliotte Friedman.

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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. Karlsson, she told him, was the only reason why she loved the team. "So for that I will forever be grateful and happy to be drafted by this team and getting to know this city".

After watching the Matt Duchene saga hang over the Colorado Avalanche previous year, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion clearly did not want to enter his season with his disgruntled star still on the roster. "I'm going to be extremely excited once I get there and I'm looking forward to whatever is ahead of me". Over the years, Wilson has acquired players like Thornton, Burns, Kane and Dan Boyle in trades and signed all of them to long-term deals. Had Karlsson moved to a Lightning defense corps already boasting Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh, though, that hope would've been smashed to bits in five games just like it was in May. We talked about that when I said that (in June), it was about the whole room being broken and we didn't want to point fingers at one person. "For the benefit of the organization, for the benefit of the rebuild, for the succession of the rebuild, I think today we made the proper decision". Burns leads the position in goals (68), points (218), power-play points (82) and shots on goal (1,005) over the span, and Karlsson leads active National Hockey League defensemen in career points per game (0.83). Last season was one of the toughest for the 28-year-old, who failed to score 15 or more goals for the first time in a campaign which he played in 70 games or more.

The decision to deal Karlsson isn't going over well in Ottawa - not only was he the club's best player, he was also one of the most popular to ever pull on the jersey, second only to Alfredsson.

Balcers spent last season in the AHL and Norris was a first-round pick in 2017 and entering his sophomore season at MI.

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