He was the Senators' first-round pick in 2008 (15th overall). "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".
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. "I was not part of that plan and that's why we're standing here today".
Hockey fans in Ottawa reacted to the news that Senators star defenceman Erik Karlsson had been traded with everything from sorrow to more-measured responses - hate to see him go, but it had to be done. Nine years ago on September 12, 2009, the Senators dealt winger Dany Heatley to the Sharks on the first day of camp. "And even though you have heard a lot of things about this could be possible, I think that you can't really prepare for it, for any of it, so, it's sad".More news: Flu vaccine clinics in South Lake Tahoe and West Slope
Could the end of the Erik Karlsson saga finally be upon us? "I never wanted to leave this place, but at the same time I respect their decision". With Karlsson in the fold, it's likely the Sabres will have the Sharks pick at the next draft.
Karlsson's breakout season came in 2011-12 when he had 78 points (19 goals, 59 assists), while averaging 25:19 of ice time, but his performance in the 2017 playoffs stands out.
The team struggled last season and many supporters on the streets of downtown Ottawa on Thursday said it was a clear sign that a rebuild is necessary - which means it was also time for a high-priced player like Karlsson to move on.More news: Stewart, Storm sweep Mystics for WNBA title
Balcers spent last season in the AHL and Norris was a first-round pick in 2017 and entering his sophomore season at MI.
"I'm heartbroken", said Matt Melbourne, a self-described "huge Sens fan" who happened to be wearing a red Senators T-shirt when someone told him about the trade. "It's always going to be my home and it's always going to be a community that I'm going to be as much involved in as I possibly can and give back in whatever way that I can".More news: Governor Deal issues State of Emergency across Georgia
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