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14 September 2018, 02:12 | Pamela Mathis
Forward Chris Tierney is one of the players coming to Ottawa in return for Erik Karlsson
The all-world blue-liner is a pending unrestricted free agent entering the final year of the seven-year, $45-million pact he inked with the Senators in 2012, at a cap hit of $6.5 million.
Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson pauses on the ice during the second period of a game against the Arizona Coyotes in Glendale, Ariz., on March, 3, 2018.
"It's extremely rare that players of this caliber become available", Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement.
The Senators dealt Karlsson and prospect forward Francis Perron to the Sharks.
Karlsson, whose contract expires at the end of this season, doesn't quite see it that way. Ottawa gets a second-round choice in the 2019 draft from San Jose (which will be the higher of the two picks the Sharks now own - the Florida Panthers' and their own).
They'll also receive a 2021 second-round pick if Karlsson re-signs, and that pick is upgraded to a first-rounder if San Jose also makes the 2019 Stanley Cup Final.
A deal has been rumoured for months after Karlsson did not sign an extension offer from the Senators over the summer.
If the Senators decided to make this move now, that means contract talks they were having with Karlsson's camp were going nowhere and he had no plans to re-sign here. However, the Sharks aren't the only team inquiring with the Senators for Karlsson.
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"I don't think that I could have ever prepared for this", Karlsson said.
"This is the right moment for us to rebuild our team", said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. "This trade represents the best opportunity for the Ottawa Senators to rebuild towards a consistent excellence that we are striving for".
It's just the latest big trade made by Wilson, who has also acquired Joe Thornton, Burns and Evander Kane in trades over the years. Burns, 33, remains a top three defenseman option (with Karlsson and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning) but has been surpassed by Karlsson in the fantasy rankings and is better suited for the 25-30 range overall, compared to his higher ADP (19.5). Last season was one of the toughest for the 28-year-old, who failed to score 15 or more goals for the first time in a campaign which he played in 70 games or more.
The Sharks never let up in their interest in Karlsson and made the addition without giving up a top-six forward or top-four defenseman from the current roster.
Most reaction to the trade has been "Ottawa did not get almost enough". "As you said, there's been a lot of noise for nearly a year now, but I never in my wildest imagination thought that I was going to leave this place". He had career highs with 17 goals and 23 assists and played all 82 games.
Another feasible scenario is for the Sharks to move Burns back to forward; he has played right wing at points in his National Hockey League career, including for a brief stint last season, and spent all of 2013-14 playing wing with Thornton.
Perron was a seventh-round pick in 2014 and spent the past two seasons in the AHL.
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