Erik Karlsson traded to Sharks

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In exchange for Karlsson, the Senators received forward Chris Tierney, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, a first-round pick in 2020, a second-round selection in 2019, and two conditional picks.

Could the end of the Erik Karlsson saga finally be upon us? Ottawa was going to be bad with or without Karlsson, but the Caps' biggest competition in the East appears to be the Lightning, a team that was favored to beat Washington in the conference final last season but fell in seven games.

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.

"You have to make it be a place the player wants to play, filling in all of the ingredients that they're looking for in their decision-making process". He has 41 goals and 63 assists in 284 career games. Neither one was named to The Athletic's ranking of the NHL's top 100 prospects entering the 2018-19 season. "We didn't feel (in July) we were getting the return for an Erik Karlsson-type of player". The 28-year-old is widely considered one of the best defensemen of this generation and he has the statistics, hardware and highlights to prove it.

Karlsson rumors are indeed intensifying, however talking to people I get the sense that most of the people/chatter implying this is "really close to happening" is being driven once again by Ottawa's desire to force the hand of some of the teams with which they have discussed Karlsson.

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The Senators have been undergoing changes lately after off-ice issues shook their locker room. However, the Sharks aren't the only team inquiring with the Senators for Karlsson.

Senators GM Pierre Dorion also had a press conference to address the media and fans after the trade.

The six-foot, 191-pound Swede was selected by the Senators with the 15th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. In addition to the Sharks, the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets were the two best teams in the league last season according to the standings. Karlsson joins one of the top defensive groups in the league alongside 2017 Norris Trophy victor Brent Burns and shutdown defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic. After just missing out on John Tavares, the Sharks were able to land a whale this offseason to go with Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic on the blueline.

Karlsson scored nine goals (his lowest full-season total) and registered 53 assists for 62 points in 71 games in 2017-18. P.K. Subban leads the way for National Hockey League defensemen with an annual cap hit of $9 million, but he'll be surpassed next season by Drew Doughty's $11 milllion average annual value.

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