Karlsson eager to find success under new Sharks regime

Posted: 10/09/2022 in NHL
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Erik Karlsson is committed to the San Jose Sharks, even though the franchise could be staring at a long-term rebuild.

The Sharks hired Mike Grier as general manager and David Quinn as head coach this offseason, signaling a new direction for the organization after missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season. Former Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns was dealt to the Carolina Hurricanes as the new regime’s first big move, but Karlsson isn’t seeking a change of scenery himself.

“No, I committed here a long time ago,” the veteran defenseman told The Athletic’s Corey Masisak. “It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to early on. There’s a lot of things that probably played into that. I’m not going to get into details about that.

“But I am excited for the future here now. I hope we can move in the direction to be successful again. Is that going to be this year? I mean, who knows? But I do think something good can come out of here.”

The Sharks acquired Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators prior to the 2018-19 season when he was one of the league’s most dominant blue-liners. He collected 518 points in 627 games, capturing two Norris Trophies across nine seasons in Canada’s capital. But he hasn’t had the impact many expected of him in the Bay Area.

San Jose has only made the playoffs once since the trade, and Karlsson’s availability has been heavily limited due to injuries. The 32-year-old only played 50 games this past campaign as he required forearm surgery.

“I think the injuries that I’ve had since I got here … some of them probably could have been prevented a little bit, and some of them were just like, things happen,” Karlsson said.

“I broke my thumb when (I) blocked a shot. I mean, what are you going to do? That’s part of the game. I had some wear and tear where, if we were in a different position where you can take some time off and maybe look after it a little bit different, maybe it doesn’t get to the point where you have to have surgery. It is all circumstantial.”

Karlsson is under contract for five more seasons at an $11.5-million cap hit, which carries a full no-move clause.

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