NHL

Erik Karlsson thanks Sharks fans in seeming farewell to San Jose

The Sharks' defenceman tweeted his thanks to the team and Northern Californians on Friday but made no mention of a return. He will become a free agent when the Stanley Cup Final is over.

Defenceman in line to become unrestricted free agent

Erik Karlsson is recovering from groin surgery but is expected to be ready in time for next season. (Jeff Roberson/The Associated Press)

Erik Karlsson doesn't make it sound as if he'll be returning to San Jose next fall.

The Sharks' defenceman tweeted his thanks to the team and Northern Californians on Friday but made no mention of a return. He will become a free agent when the Stanley Cup Final is over.

"Thank you to the entire @SanJoseSharks organization, fans, and especially teammates. It was a great run that ended too early. But lots of great memories created. The entire Bay Area has been nothing but classy and respectful to me and my family. Thank you.

San Jose traded two draft picks and four players — forwards Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers, defenceman Dylan DeMelo and prospect Josh Norris - to the Ottawa Senators last September in exchange for Karlsson and AHL forward Francis Perron. If the Sharks re-sign Karlsson, who just finished his seven-year, $45.5 million contract, they will receive a conditional 2021 second-round draft pick.

Ottawa drafted Karlsson, from Sweden, with the No. 15 overall pick of the 2008 NHL Draft. He is a two-time Norris Trophy winner and a six-time NHL All-Star.

Limited by injuries, Karlsson played in 53 games in the regular season and scored 45 points on a career-low three goals to go with 42 assists. He also missed Game 6 of the Western Conference final, a season-ending loss that sent the St. Louis Blues to the Stanley Cup Final.

Karlsson, who turns 29 next week, is expected to have offers from multiple teams.

 

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