In early September 2018, the announcement of Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson’s trade to the San Jose Sharks was made. This trade had been in the works since July 2018 when Karlsson’s contract with the Senators expired. Karlsson was drafted 1st round, 15th overall in the 2008 NHL draft to the Ottawa Senators ,where he has played and grown as a professional hockey player in the past 10 years. In Karlsson’s press conference regarding the trade, he admitted to finding the trade hard on him and his family. The former Senators captain stated:
“I never in my wildest dreams thought I would leave this place.”
On July 1st the senators had offered Karlsson an extension deal of 8 years’ worth $80 million, but Karlsson refused to sign claiming the deal was too low. The senators then permitted interested parties to engage in negotiations with Karlsson. Sportsnet noted that the owners of both teams were heavily involved in this deal relative to other NHL trades.
Did the owners and general managers put their needs before Karlsson? Were money and power the real drivers behind this deal? How will this trade affect the deeply rooted Senator fans who supported Karlsson?
Do GMs and owners take into considerations how a player will fit in with the new team? Does playing for an opposing team reduce performance and increase deviance?
How will Karlsson cope with this trade? And, this transition may be particularly hard on the family. Could these social influences impact Karlsson’s performance?
Featured image: Erik Karlsson