At exactly 14:30 hours on the 13th day of September in the year 2018. The day and moment that the Ottawa Senators were pronounced dead.
Erik Karlsson (finally) is a San Jose Shark. In return, Senators get: a bunch of guys you’ve probably never heard of, and a bunch of draft picks. Literally not one player of substance. Granted, the Sharks did give up their top prospect in Josh Norris (the 19th overall selection in 2017). But other than that, the actual players consisted of Chris Tierney, a second/third line forward with a career high of 40 points and a third pairing defender in Dylan DeMelo, who didn’t score a single goal in over 60 games last season.
The Sens did manage to scour at least one 1st round pick (2020) and at least one 2nd round pick (2019), but the Sharks are going to be a VERY good team now and seemingly in at least the near future, so those draft picks will be lower-tier prospects. There are some intriguing conditional picks involved as well. If Karlsson re-signs in San Jose, the Sens get another 2nd round pick and if Karlsson moves back to the Eastern Conference this season (via trade) they get another 1st round pick.
But that’s it! That’s all they recouped for arguably the best offensive defenseman in the entire NHL and by far the best defender the Senators have ever had (and probably ever will have). This is a pennies-on-the-dollar transaction. The Sharks instantly become a Stanley Cup threat with Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and now Karlsson on the back end and running the power play. Offensively, if you simply add up their point totals from last season, you get 161 points out of your defense (67 from Burns, 62 from Karlsson and 32 from Vlasic).
But on a sad note, this is the death of an NHL franchise right in front of our faces, and no one is happy about it. Except maybe the Colorado Avalanche, who own Ottawa’s 1st round pick this year! When it rains, it pours.