The Ottawa Senators spent almost a year trying to trade captain Erik Karlsson, and they managed to finally get a deal done just weeks before the regular season begins.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Senators dealt Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for forward Chris Tierney, three prospects and four total draft picks.
Sources say the #Sens have dealt Erik Karlsson to the Sharks in exchange for Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo, Josh Norris, Rudolfs Balcers, 2020 1st, 2019 2nd and two conditional picks.— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) September 13, 2018
It's not the return Senators fans were looking for, considering that Karlsson is a two-time Norris Trophy winner, and one of the greatest offensive-minded blueliners of ever. But the organization simply had to end the drama and get their disgruntled captain out, especially considering this is the final year of his contract.
Karlsson now joins fellow Norris Trophy defenceman Brent Burns on the San Jose blue line, which is a terrifying thought for the rest of the NHL. This is a pair of defencemen who have racked up the 70-point seasons with relative ease. They're both supreme skaters with excellent puck-movement skills and blazing speed.
Karlsson requested a trade last season as the locker room grew more toxic and the relationship with owner Eugene Melnyk worsened over time. Ottawa dealt Mike Hoffman to San Jose (later flipped to the Florida Panthers), after it was reported that his fiancee was harassing Karlsson and his wife, Melinda.
The latter filed an order of protection against Hoffman's fiancee, giving the front office no choice but to move on from both he and Karlsson.
The Senators were one goal away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2017. Over a year later, they're stuck in total dysfunction. The owner has threatened to move the team, the locker room is a mess, attendance and ticket sales are way down, and they gave up their 2019 first round pick in the Matt Duchene trade.
Ottawa does have a handful of promising young players, including Colin White, Thomas Chabot, Brady Tkachuk and Logan Brown. They'll certainly need all of these guys to gel together well, otherwise the problems in Ottawa will persist for a long time.