Erik Karlsson said he didn’t ask the San Jose Sharks to trade him amid their major changes this offseason.
“No, I joined here a long time ago”, the defender told The Athletic in comments posted Wednesday. “It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to at first. There’s probably a lot of things that played into that. I’m not going to go into detail on that, but I’m excited for the future here now. “I hope we can go in the direction of success again. Will it be this year? I mean, who knows? But I think something good can come out of here.”
The 32-year-old, entering the fourth season of an eight-year contract he signed on June 17, 2019, had 35 points (10 goals, 25 assists) in 50 games last season, missing two months due to surgery to repair a torn muscle in his left forearm.
San Jose (32-37-13) finished sixth in the Pacific Division and missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive season.
As a result, the Sharks hired Mike Grier as general manager and David Quinn as coach this offseason. They also traded the defender Brent burnswho played 11 seasons in San Jose, at the Carolina Hurricanes, but they acquired the center Luc Kounin in a trade with the Nashville Predators and signed free agent forwards Oskar Lindblom and Nico Sturmand the defenders Matt Benning and Markus Nutivaara.
“If you look at the last few years, we’ve struggled to fill the roster with quality players,” Karlsson said. “I think we’ve got a lot of good top guys, but it’s been tough for some of the younger guys who have had to come and play a game where they’re not really familiar or don’t have the experience to do it. . . I think that [Grier] brought that stability with guys who have been in the League for a while but also maybe haven’t reached the potential they could have.”
Karlsson went on to say that he feels healthy for this season but wants to be more proactive when it comes to avoiding extended injury absences. The two-time Norris Trophy winner named NHL’s Best Defenseman (2012, 2015) had 142 points (27 goals, 115 assists) in 211 regular-season games with the Sharks, but has missed 79 games since joining him. have acquired. in a trade with the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13, 2018.
“I think the injuries I’ve had since I got here…some of them probably could have been kinda avoided and some of them felt like things were happening,” Karlsson said. “I broke my thumb when I blocked a shot. I mean what are you going to do? It’s part of the game. I had wear and tear where, if we were in a different position where you can take a little time and maybe deal with it a little differently maybe it doesn’t get to the point where you have to have surgery It’s all circumstantial I think now I should maybe – be a little more careful about when things happen, even if that means missing a little time here and there so you don’t miss a lot of time at the end of the year.”