After acquiring Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators in a blockbuster deal on Thursday afternoon, the Sharks feel like they're Stanley Cup contenders. Forget the fact that he was entering the final year of his contract, because all the teams bidding for Karlsson did considering his unique game.
General manager Doug Wilson began the offseason by making a run to add John Tavares to the Sharks. "The word "elite" is often thrown around casually but Erik's skillset and abilities fit that description like few other players in today's game". Getting to play on a defence corps which includes the likes of Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic sounds like something he'll probably get used to pretty quickly. "We are thrilled to welcome Erik and his wife, Melinda, to San Jose".
Given the current marketplace for top defencemen, sources say the Senators offered a deal in excess of $80 million over eight years during conversations with his camp on July 1.
The Ottawa Senators promised they were going into rebuild mode earlier this week. That was lost as a result of the Matt Duchene trade the Sens made last year, nor did they get a '19 first round pick from the Sharks (they sent that to Buffalo for Evander Kane last year), meaning this year-long failure is going to absolutely be for nothing that benefits Ottawa.
Normally, a trade between teams out of Colorado's division and not involving them would just be fun fodder for dissecting the deal but this one actually has a chance to have a significant impact on the Avalanche. The superstar spent nine seasons playing for the Senators, and things certainly did not end on the best of terms. The Sharks also get forward Francis Perron.
Ottawa receives San Jose's first-round choice in either 2019 or 2020 (not lottery protected). "This trade represents the best opportunity for the Ottawa Senators to rebuild towards a consistent excellence that we are striving for".
Karlsson's breakout season came in 2011-12 when he had 78 points (19 goals, 59 assists), while averaging 25:19 of ice time, but his performance in the 2017 playoffs stands out. 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.
The Sharks made the addition without giving up a top-six forward or top-four defenseman. Tierney, 24, set a career-high with 40 points in 82 games with the Sharks last season.
DeMelo played mostly on San Jose's third defensive pair last season when he had no goals and 20 assists in 63 games.
The 22-year old Perron was drafted 190th overall in the seventh round of the 2014 draft by the Senators. The 6-foot-1 DeMelo is next in line, with 20 assists in 63 games previous year while averaging 14:12 per game, and has three goals and 32 points in 133 career games with the Sharks.