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Breaking: Karlsson returns for the first time since the tragic death of his son

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It seems hard to find the positive in such a tragic event, but fans of the Ottawa Senators might be comforted to know that star defenseman Erik Karlsson was on the ice on Saturday morning with his teammates. 

On Tuesday, the club made the tragic announcement that Karlsson and his wife Melinda's son had died. The Senators issued the following statement regarding team captain Erik Karlsson and his wife, Melinda.

"The collective thoughts and prayers of the Ottawa Senators organization, the city of Ottawa and entire hockey community rest with Erik and Melinda Karlsson following the loss of their son.

We ask that you respect the family's wishes for privacy during the grieving process."

This morning, Karlsson was on the ice. We hope it can help his grieving process, as he might be looking to do something he loves to heal the deep wounds. 

The Senators face off against the Carolina Hurricanes later tonight and Karlsson will be in in the lineup. Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal and his wife revealed earlier this month that their infant daughter died of a terminal birth defect.

In the statement, the Staals say it had been "a longer road than most people know" and that they had "prayed for a miracle," but that Hannah was stillborn. They say they are "very thankful for our short time with her."

Just a day after it was revealed that Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda's son had died, the couple made a public statement... a very moving one. On social media, Karlsson was able to chose the right words to describe the most awful situation a family can go through. Here is his moving statement: 

"At this extremely difficult time it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel but we know one day we'll get there. We would like to thank everyone for the love and support we have received and also for respecting our privacy and the process that we need to go through. 

We feel very lucky to be Axel's parents. Even though he was stillborn, we know we will hold him again one day under different circumstances and the joy he gave us will be with us forever."

The couple announced they were expecting in November 2017. Karlsson had previously said the baby was due in mid-April, around the start of the NHL playoffs. 

On Friday, the Senators shared important information on what is expected to take place this summer with his hockey club. The Sens GM has told season-ticket holders on a conference call Friday that the team plans to offer Karlsson a contract extension on July 1.

The 27-year-old defenseman ranks second in scoring on the Senators this season with eight goals and 56 points in 66 games. He led the team in scoring each of the past four seasons, and managed to keep up the good work despite a tumultuous season. 

As one of the league's best defender, Karlsson is expected to command a record payday for a blue liner. Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban currently owns the highest cap hit of any defenseman at $9 million, but both Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty he and Karlsson have been honest about looking to land more. 

However for now, Karlsson's focus is most likely of his wife and family.