The saga has a new spin to it... One of the more shocking stories of the 2017-2018 National Hockey League season was the very real possibility that superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson would be traded prior to the National Hockey League's trade deadline. Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion however, quiet down the trade chatter in a post-deadline conference, when he explained that none of the offers made were worthy of the star defender and that he would try his best to re-sign Karlsson on July 1st, a year before the blue liner is eligible for free agency. Dorion reiterated his wish to re-sign his captain last week in a conference call with the season-ticket holders.
Since then the media frenzy surrounding the rumored trade has died down considerably, and despite the fact that many continue to believe that Karlsson will eventually be traded by the Senators, potentially at the upcoming Entry Draft, there hasn't been much in terms of rumors as of late. That all changed on Monday night. After Monday night's game, Karlsson did something that sparked a furor on social media with many fans believing that his actions are a clear indication that he had just played his last game in Ottawa.
After the game was over, Ottawa's final home game of the 2017-2018 NHL season considering they will not be making the playoffs, Karlsson sneakily skated over to the net and picked up the puck that was inside of it. It's a gesture that has many believing that Karlsson decided to keep a momento of what will be the final game he ever plays in Ottawa as a member of the Ottawa Senators organization.
The man himself was asked why he did so after the contest, and even he couldn't explain his gesture to Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch.
“I don’t know why I did it, it was just laying there, and I didn’t really think about (it being the last home) game and I didn’t really think that you guys would ever think about that even but there’s a lot of cameras out there,” said Karlsson, who hasn’t decided if he’ll go on the three-game trip.
“I was down there and I saw it was in the net so I just picked it up and decided to keep it. I haven’t (thought about the final home game) until now. I’m a social guy, I read a lot of things and I’m not reading too much into it, but obviously the word is out there from you guys. It’s not something I’ve thought about going into this game and it’s not something I’m going to think about for awhile.”
The Senators are ending the regular calendar on the road, as they face the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday and the Boston Bruins in their final game on Saturday.
Karlsson, who tragically lost his unborn son Axel a few weeks ago, might not make the trip with his teammates to stay home with his wife Melinda as they are still grieving their loss. Despite the tragedy in his life, Karlsson will unfortunately have to think about what to do next with his career, as he will be entering the last year of his contract. If he cannot guarantee the Sens that he wants to stay and lead the team to a championship, Dorion might not risk losing his best player for free and decide to move him this summer.
Karlsson picking up the puck has surely picked up trade talks...