After months and months of speculations, the Erik Karlsson sweepstakes have come to an end. Or have they?
The San Jose Sharks traded for Karlsson earlier today, along with Francis Perron. In return, the Senators receive forward Chris Tierney, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, a 2020 first-round pick, a 2019 second-round pick, and two conditional picks, per Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
The question that is now being asked is: are the Sharks about to flip Karlsson elsewhere? One person asking this very question is Travis Yost, statistician for TSN.
In the meantime, Dean Brown, the voice of the Senators on TSN 1200, was first to reveal another important clause of the blockbuster trade. If the Sharks flip or cannot re-sign Karlsson for the upcoming season, the Senators will ALSO get a first round pick in the 2021 or the 2022 Draft if the all-star blue liner plays for an eastern team in 2018-19.
That would be madness, right? At least, these media members are not the only ones who thought about this possibility. Clearly, the Senators did not want to see it happened, like it did back this summer when forward Mike Hoffman was on the move. Hoffman ended up being traded to the Florida Panthers by the Sharks, about two hours after being acquired by the Sharks in a trade with the Senators.
As Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston states on his Twitter account, you can call what is taking place the Mike Hoffman clause.
Both the Sens and Sharks' hands are tied: Karlsson needs to decide on his future. It is most likely what stopped the Vegas Golden Knights in their quest for the star defender.
Karlsson had spent his entire career with the Senators since being drafted in the first round by the organization in 2008, 15th overall.
The veteran defender has won two Norris Trophies and has led the Sens to within a goal of the Stanley Cup Final, ultimately losing in overtime of Game 7 to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2017.
He has just one year remaining on his contract and is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency on July 1. The Senators are now entering a full rebuilding phase, as Karlsson awaits a new contract… or a new team.
"This is the right moment for us to rebuild our team, and shape our future with a faster, younger and more competitive team on the ice. We are going to build a culture of consistency which will allow this team to sustain better performance over the long term.” - Pierre Dorion, Sens GM
You better believe fans will wonder until he signs on the dotted line in San Jose… After all, this saga has been pure madness, so nothing would be shocking anymore…
However, the Sharks seem pretty thrilled about the best acquisition of the offseason, and would be nuts to move him before July 1st.