After taking some time to decompress after being eliminated in Round 3. Reports indicate that Erik Karlsson is close to deciding on his future with the San Jose Sharks.
Erik Karlsson got acquired by the San Jose Sharks prior to the start of the 2018 – 2019. General Manager Doug Wilson sent away a decent haul of talent to get one year and negotiations rights with EK65′s.
The gamble seemed to have payed off with Karlsson ending the season with 3 goals and 42 assists in 53 regular season games played. At times his presence on the ice made San Jose seemingly unstoppable. With the team averaging nearly a 60/40 split in regards to shot share and possession metrics when the Swedish skater is on the ice.
In his limited time with the Sharks he exhibited why he an all-world defenseman. Even when hindered by injuries Karlsson was able to convert highly skilled passes in the offensive zone, while also excelling in transitioning the puck.
Despite all this Team Teal ultimately fell short losing to the St. Louis Blues in six. Now the Sharks front office and their fan base will have to wait for Erik Karlsson to decide whether he will seriously consider staying in the Bay Area.
However that decision might be made sooner rather than later according to Hockey Night in Canada’s Elliotte Friedman. During intermission of Sportsnet’s broadcast of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals Friedman explained. . .
"“. . . I think we’re going to know, in about a week, if he’s going to stay or if he’s going to investigate his other free agency options.”"
You can watch the segment here for more context. But with that being said this is good news for the San Jose Sharks. If it holds true it’ll let them know if Erik Karlsson is in their future and how they can approach the rest of free agency. Or if he unfortunately decides to test the free agent market it would give Doug Wilson a chance to focus on other avenues of improving this team. Along with all the other expiring contracts on the books this off-season .
Nevertheless it will be an anxiety filled month leading up the start of free agency on July 1st. The amount of questions surrounding this team are mounting by the day, but none loom as large as EK65’s future in the Bay. Hopefully this report rings true and we find out within the week whether we’ll keep seeing Karlsson in a Teal sweater or come to terms with the harsh realization that the dream is over.