NHL

Karlsson, Sharks agree to contract: report

Erik Karlsson and the San Jose Sharks have reached agreement on a contract, according to TSN. The 29-year-old defenseman could have been an unrestricted agent for the first time in his career July 1.

He had 45 points (three goals, 42 assists) in 53 games during his first season in San Jose and was tied for second on the Sharks with 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games. However, he did not play when they were eliminated by the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final on May 21.

Karlsson had surgery to repair a groin injury May 31. The Sharks said he is expected to be healthy for the start of next season.

“I was very fortunate to be able to play pretty much all the games, except the last one, in the playoffs at a reasonable level, even for my standards. I think that’s great,” Karlsson said May 24. “Everybody is dealing with something. You have to play through things. I was able to do that. For that, I’m proud and grateful. It’s nothing major. It’s just going to take some time and figure everything out. It should be something that’s easy to deal with. That’s as much as I know.”

Karlsson was acquired with forward prospect Francis Perron in a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13 for forwards Chris Tierney, Rudolfs Balcers and Josh Norris, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, a second-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

“He certainly wasn’t 100 percent, but he gave us all he could,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said on May 24. “I think we had [Karlsson] healthy for maybe six weeks, and he showed what he was capable of. There’s such a fine line between being injured and being hurt. Guys will bring whatever they can, that’s the nature of hockey players. You have to protect players from themselves, and also admire their heart and commitment.”

Selected by Ottawa in the first round (No. 15) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Karlsson has 563 points (129 goals, 434 assists) in 680 regular-season games with the Sharks and Senators and 53 points (eight goals, 45 assists) in 67 playoff games. He has won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman twice (2011-12, 2014-15) and has been named an NHL First-Team All-Star four times (2011-12 and 2014-15 through 2016-17).





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