Erik Karlsson Traded to the Sharks

by | Sep 13, 2018 | News, NHL, Rumors | 59 comments

The Ottawa Senators traded defenseman Erik Karlsson and prospect forward Francis Perron to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for center Chris Tierney, defenceman Dylan DeMelo, and forward prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, along with a conditional first-round pick (2019 or 2020) and a second-round pick in 2019. If the Sharks miss the playoffs this season, the first-rounder will be in 2019.


Ottawa Senators trade defenseman Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators were never going to get full value for Karlsson. The pressure general manager Pierre Dorion was rumored to be under from owner Eugene Melnyk to get a deal done quickly likely left him little choice but to accept the Sharks’ proposal.

Tierney, 24, is a good two-way center who reached a career-high 40 points last season with the Sharks. He should be a good fit as Ottawa’s third-line center. The 25-year-old DeMelo obviously won’t replace Karlsson’s all-star skills. Given the lack of skilled depth on the Senators blueline, he will likely fill a top-four role.

Norris, another two-way center, played for Michigan in the Big 10 and could remain there this season. Balcers tallied 48 points with San Jose’s AHL affiliate last season and is likely headed to the Belleville Senators this season. One of these guys could become a full-time roster player one day for Ottawa but it’s doubtful they’ll blossom into stars. 

As for the Sharks, GM Doug Wilson knows his club’s Stanley Cup window of opportunity is closing. Bringing in Karlsson gives the Sharks two former Norris Trophy winners (Brent Burns being the other) plus the always-dependable Marc-Edouard Vlasic patrolling their blueline. Karlsson will help relieve some of the burden from Burns, providing additional offensive punch from the defense.

This move can also be considered Wilson’s answer to the significant offseason moves made by division rivals like the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes. It could provide a significant boost to the Sharks’ Stanley Cup hopes for 2018-19, but it remains to be seen if they can afford to keep Karlsson beyond this season. 



  1. as a avs fan i am elated sens are now in full rebuild mode!

    • so will Nate McKinnon announce the drafting of teammate Jack Hughes next June?

      • still long odds of that…but maybe avs miss playoffs themselves and have 2 pingpong
        balls in play!

  2. Wow! I would rather have the habs return of Tatar and Suzuki than what the sens got!! Not good for sens fans

  3. Senators got jobbed.

  4. Starting to look like the Avalanche will have the best shot at winning the lottery.

    Feel bad for Sens fans, franchise is becoming a joke like the Canucks or Canadiens.

    • Agree Ron!

      • Dorian might have just leaped over hextall for the worst gm in the league!

      • And why wasn’t that donkey dubas going after him as a rental? You can see the leafs are headed down with dubas running things, they desperately need defense and goes and pays a forward 11million a season!

      • Bigbadbruins… because Dubas is smarter then that. There is no way TO would be able to re-sign him. Why waste so many assets for him? Yes TO needs defense but what they don’t need is offense from their defense. They need better defensive minded D and Karlsson is not that. Karlsson’s best seasons were when he had a solid D minded guy covering their own end, like Methot.

  5. I think that’s more than fair. Tierney will be a solid addition, he plays key minutes on the PK, demelo is a solid d man. Not great but okay. The prospects are a gamble either way. The first round pick is a late pick most likely but all things considered, it seems like an okay deal for both teams.

    • More then fair?

      What is Tierney worth by himself? 2nd or 3rd rounder?

      Demelo? another 2nd or 3rd rounder

      This was basically giving EK away,

      • Tierney is worth way more than a 2nd.

    • Wasn’t demileo on waivers recently?

      • Ya demelo was on waivers..funny Hoffman they got basically squat .then he was traded to Florida for a better return..youd think fool me once?

    • Uhhh ya, ok bigbear!

    • Ottawa got ripped off but lets face it there was no way they would get equal value for him. You can’t just replace a guy like Karlsson. That, coupled with everyone knowing he was going to be sent packing left Dorion with no leverage. All he can do is take what he can get.

  6. Wow! Dorion and Melnyk should be run out of Ottawa by an angry mob. That is a garbage return for one of the best dmen of his era. A bottom 6 forward and a bottom pairing dman and some picks that will be too high to amount to much. Now that Yzerman is out in Tampa does Karlsson still want to go there? The Sharks now have the best D group in the NHL. I wonder where Duchene and Stone will be moved to now, should not be long, have to get a mediocre return for them as well.

    • High as in a high number like number 30 for the first round pick for example.

  7. It is not so much what the Sens got for EK+Hoffman.
    But besides Vancouver who else is competing for the best lottery odds now?

    If somehow their pick is out of the top 3 Sen fans can breath next SUMMER.
    If the Avs got #1….

    • Vancouver has a lot of good young players. They might surprise everyone. If they put Dahlen, Peterson, and Boeser on a line that line could destroy a lot of teams.

    • Yes…it reminds me of Kessel trade. Leafs getting worked and giving the #1 overall pick to Boston…the Battle of Ontario continues

  8. Quantity over quality trades are never good, and this looks like the former. Norris is a solid prospect and should play in the NHL in the next couple years, but the total package is very underwhelming. Even if Ottawa gets the conditional picks, this could end up looking like the Spezza trade from a few years ago. Hard to believe another team wouldn’t come up with a better offer than this.

  9. Seems Ottawa didn’t have many teams willing to give up a lot of prospects and pay the hefty salary Karlsson will be seeking.

    • Finally, someone with a brief succinct observation that ISN’T a class knee-jerk reaction. Many in here have been picking Ottawa for last, so what were they to do? Give Karlsson all that up-front lockout/strike guaranteed money and STILL finish last? To what end? Then there were those saying he should return this or that top player, yadda, yadda, yadda. Clearly, this was the best offer and, since he was out of town the minute he opened his yap last season about not taking a home-town discount and wanting a long-term deal at top dollar – instead of just saying he doesn’t discuss contract before it’s due, what happened was inevitable.

      If this deal is so terrible (again, we won’t know the full impact for a couple/three seasons and they weren’t going anywhere WITH him anyway) what, you have to wonder, were those other teams supposedly in the mix offering?

      Since no one in here can say for certain just how good Norris and Balcers will be down the line, or what those picks will amount to (that 2nd is the highest of 2 held by San Jose by the way) perhaps those who STILL think they know for sure and still insist that they got “jobbed” will fill us in on what they think Dallas or Vegas, or anyone else for that matter might have offered that was better. Or enlighten us as to how retaining Karlsson for the bulk of this season would not upset team chemistry in that span. He wanted out – he’s gone. Good luck.

      • George is fired up! Luv it.
        My thoughts:
        You have to assume Dorian didn’t turn down offers that were better than the one he took.
        Seems obvious that EK wasn’t willing to talk extension with other teams until he decides he wants to. (still think he tests the market and ends up in TB).
        It proves once again how difficult it is for GM’s to negotiate when they are forced to trade someone by a specific date. (reporting is Melnyk wanted him gone before camp. Thanks boss!)
        Seems like many overvalued what EK was worth as a rental.
        Why does OTT care if he ends up in the east this season? Not like they will be competing against anyone in the playoffs. If they did turn down a deal with an eastern team that was better, than I take it back and Dorian is an idiot.

      • It still sucks..arguably the best dman in the world is gone for scraps demelo was on waivers Chris is worth a 3rd and a bunch of maybes we’ll see?.ive seen rentals get almost better at the deadline..two time Norris coming into his you look at lidstrom he won his Norris latter in his career!..the avalanche are extremely proud to select jack Hughes!

      • lets put this in the vault and 4-5 years from now re-evaluate the deal. Do the Sharks go on a deep playoff run or win the cup. Does Karlsson re-sign. Does Karlsson stay healthy? I still would have liked to have seen a blue chip young prospect who can step in now but time will tel. The fact is the Sens won’t challenge for a few years. Karlsson can make a very good team great but can’t make a rebuilding team a contender.

      • George

        Absolutely …. this was obviously the best offer… I don’t know (nor will anyone) if a deal in a week from now from another team, would have been better … unlikely but who knows.

        From TSN and SN … Melnyk wanted the trade done B4 first pre-season game … so Dorion had to take the best offer he had… and did.

        Do I think the return value is appropriate … well … since it was the best offer today … that was market value…. that said …. I believe EK’s value (even as a rental …. as this deal seems structured) is higher than that.

        I truly believe there are at least a couple of GMs that are kicking themselves for not making a better offer than what SJ did.

        I had posted before that I thought a fair value from VGK would have been Theo+ 1st + Suzuki (now gone — so slide in Brasnstrom) + later round ; and from TBay— Serg + 1st + Katchouk OR Raddysh + late round

        Since the packages I’ve listed above are greater in value than what SJ offered — then those packages ; or similar from those teams; were not offered.

        To provide a comparable to what was received … from Vegas:

        Instead of Tierny … Eakin

        Instead of DeMelo … Merrill

        Instead of Norris and Balcers …Brannstrom and Elvenes

        Conditional picks could have been the same

        The names above are not really that important …. Vegas had comparably better pieces to offer… they didn’t offer them

        Dall and TBay had comparably better pieces and they didn’t offer them

        Other teams had comparably better pieces … and they didn’t offer them

        Dorion took best offer (I might add under the pressure from Melnyk to move and move now) that he could get today … so he got market value

        I’m sad for Ottw and Sens fans … but he obviously couldn’t do better under those parameters

        I’m glad EK went west

        I will not be surprised if he is in another team on July 1st . I won’t be surprised if he signs a whopper of an extension with SJ… this deal shows me nothing is surprising …. it is what it is

        Anaheim has to do something now as IMO they are projecting for 5th in Pacific

      • Good for you, George, Karlsson’s gone, the Sens need to get ready to play. Melnyk must be Harold Ballard reincarnated though.

      • george i do agree with you that trades need
        3-4 yrs to be evaluated sometimes…..look at the crap the avs took for ror trade to sabres….zadorov and compher come to the time it looked horrible….now i would not trade zadorov for ror even up

    • Ott did the best they could in a bad situation. Obviously, Karlsson wasn’t prepared to guarantee he would sign long-term now at the point of trade & this seriously affects the return. Futures can’t fully cover the maybe if the team trading for him knew he would sign today they would have paid more.

      I like Tierney & he has far more to give offensively and is already a very good defensive player. Norris will be an NHL player eventually but college players scare me as they can play in college & come out following declaring themselves as UFA’s in far to short a time. Not saying Norris will just always concerns me. Balcers is a wild card but has significant scoring potential if he makes the NHL & he will be given every opportunity eventually it will be as a scorer.

      Ott gets a 1st in 2020 & at least a 2nd in 2021 that could become a 1st if Karlsson signs or they make the Stanley Cup final this season.

      We will never really know what other deals were on the table. I’m not as curious about what they could have been today but what Ottawa turned down from Vegas at last seasons trade deadline.

      We won’t know in 3 years what Ottawa got out of this deal but 6+ years down the road. Norris won’t be coming out of College for at least a year, probably 2. Balcers isn’t NHL ready & the players picked won’t be NHL ready if ever for several years.

      It’s not total fodder as many are suggesting & a UFA this summer with contract demands of 10+ mil for 7 or 8 years that limits the market.

  10. This trade proves we have no idea of what players value actually is,

    No one could come up with a better offer then this?

    Was there just not much interest in EK?

    This is the Dany Heatley trade all over again,

    • Eeeh I’m not sure there isn’t more afoot here…there’s gotta be

      • The only thing that makes sense is the market wasn’t very big for him 1 year out from UFA, I don’t see Ottawa flipping any of those pieces for a better return. Add in they don’t have their first this year and this is a major ouchie bro

      • Hey, Shticky’s back! I have to believe there may be more to this as well. If he’s determined to go F.A. next summer then that could be a factor.

      • See my thoughts are way more than ufa being the reason it still wouldn’t make much sense to do a deal like this even as a rental to a contender surely a top 5 or so D at that in the league would receive a better offer, I dunno maybe a question of durability health or something else had to be at play other than a guy that still has a full year at a pretty affordable rate and has won a Norris…there has to be more to what’s being reported so far If you’re the Sens you know you are likely to be bad anyway who cares if this is your best offer it’s not how you build a club or manage assets. Either close to top of the worst trade ever list or there is much more than people are letting on no 2 ways about it.

      • Shticky.

        Hello, nice to see you weigh in. Hope all is well.

      • I just listened to Pierre Dorian interview and when asked if karlsson is hampered by his injuries, dorian giggled and then said “I don’t want to get into all that”.

        Pierre Dorion on Trading Erik Karlsson & What Senators Wanted Back | Prime Time Sports

  11. Ooof

    • They could have traded with Vegas earlier and got S. Theodore , and other pieces ….or trading with TB and get Cal Foote or Sergachev….WOW !
      Mind you ….this deal is based on Karlsson not agreeing to an extension with SJ before the deal was.consumated , if he agreed to a extension , the deal would have been different and OTT would have got more back .

  12. The wild card is his ankle. He skipped the worlds.

    Buyer beware

  13. Robbery.

    This is what I’ve would have offered if I was Leafs GM prior to knowing that there was a garage sale in Ottawa:

    Carrick, Leivo, Zaitsev, mcElhinney, gauthier, 1st rounder, 2nd rounder

    Here is what I would have offered if I knew Dorian woukd have accepted less at the yard sale:

    McElhinney, Carrick, gauthier and Conditional 1st or two second rounders and aN autographed Chris Kotsopoulos hockey stick

    • Sj offer was better than those throw aways, but maybe the sens might have thought soft Willy the playoff no show might have atleast helped in the regular season!

      • Shaboooommm!

      • Ha-ha! We missed that wit.

  14. you never win these trades but they got takin rumor has it chiarreli was advising dorian

    • I can’t believe I’m saying this but this one to me looks worse at face value

  15. OBO- Or best offer……no long haired hippy freaks allowed- definitely a sign
    Sens camp will be better off. I have seen it before . The players will rally and at the start of the season will be better than expected . That D needs something anything or they will fade badly to the bottom by USA thanksgiving

  16. I disagree with a lot of what’s being said tonight regarding trade.

    1st -I don’t believe Erik is the best defenseman on the planet maybe top 5
    2nd- Ottawa did well since I believe Erik wouldn’t sign an extension with most of the Teams interested in him.
    3rd- Karlsson will get 11 million over 7 years in July more than I would pay for an injured one dimensional D man.
    4th- Erik was minus a bunch last year and most will say well the Team sucks but he was on the ice.

  17. After listening to Mike Kelley, Craig Button holy cow you think Ottawa took a blood bath!
    Sure it be nice if Ottawa got more, they did all right, we don’t know what the prospect and draft picks will turn out to be, could be a total bust.
    Here the thing Ottawa wasn’t going to sign Karlsson to 8yrs 88m. Nor should they and if San Jose does, they’ll regret that decision in 4yrs or less depending on Karlsson health.
    What if San Jose doesn’t resign Karlsson and don’t exceed in the playoffs or if they don’t make the playoffs, do you still say the same things.
    If Dorion was permitted to wait for a better deal then maybe something better might have come along.
    Today it appears San Jose and Colorado won it’s to be determined if Ottawa also won, they did save millions on their salary cap by trading Karlsson and not extending him; we do know who thinks that’s a win….right Eugene?

  18. What would Toronto have to offer to get EK from SJ right now?

    Obviously, the second 1st round pick makes it steep, but if they can sign an 8 year extension and acquire 9 year of him, they might pay.

    And Wilson set the precedent with the Hoffman deal.

  19. Best D-man traded since Pronger went to Anaheim from Edmonton for Lupul, Smid, 2 first rounders and a second round pick. Edmonton went on a downward spiral soon after but a decent return for an elite D-man and Anaheim did go on to win the Stanley Cup the next year.
    Put your money on the Sharks boys.
    Side note: Nurse has been in Toronto for the last few days…..

    • Soft Willy for nurse?

  20. Nylander is a good offensive player but not worth 8 million. Toronto will not trade him. Dorian chiaroscuro and Bergeron the three stooges of general managers are in their own bubble of stupidity. It doesn’t mean Dubas is going to trade a major asset for pieces you can get easily with less trade bait.

    Toronto owns him make him eat some humble pie.

    Sit for a bit Willy. Let’s see who blinks first.

  21. Dubas likes anything associated with Sault Ste. Marie.

    Zaitsev Carrick mcElhinney and Leivo for Nurse I’d do anyway. Edmonton needs defensemen there’s two for them and the speedy Leivo gets a real shot at playing there.

  22. The problem with all this is Melnyk – first he claims they want to keep Karlsson, then claims the team will be competitive so he can sell more season tickets…then forces his GM to trade his franchise player. This, after whining to the media that fan attendance was down and he can’t spend to the cap if revenues don’t go up…

    Good luck getting season ticket sales for the next 3-5yrs. I know a family member who bought tickets this year, not knowing this would be a rebuild year, and is not overly happy with that. Think they’ll buy more?

    I know I sure as hell will not spend $100+ for a night out with wifey which involves sitting in 1hr traffic before and after the game, overpriced parking, and a crappy product on the ice.

  23. Rumor has it that Ottawa was extremely disappointed that the 1st round pick they received was NOT Pat Falloon.

  24. what a disaster that franchise is in.

    the terrible owner bashes his fan base in December. he refuses to negotiate to keep his franchise player (EK). He drives away the franchise legend (Alfredsson).

    He decides to get rid of EK, won’t re-up his two other top free agents Stone & Duchesne, and doesn’t get anything back that will help for this upcoming season, which means the team will be terrible. Even better they don’t have their 1st rounder nor 3rd round pick next June, meaning they won’t bear fruit from tanking this season.

    He restricts his GM to only trading EK out of conference, meaning he most likely took an inferior offer (to TB or others).

    so when will Melnyk threaten to move the team when his team only draws 1000 fans a night? when he complains the 95% of fans in attedance are Leafs/Habs/B’s/Rangers fans ?

    I really feel bad for Sens fans who will have to endure this