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Quick Strikes: Erik Karlsson trade watch is dead, long live Erik Karlsson free agency watch

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The Sharks paid peanuts for one of the best players in the NHL yesterday

Ottawa Senators v Columbus Blue Jackets

The Bolts

Let’s start with a great article. Alex Prewitt, NHL writer at Sports Illustrated and one of my personal favorite hockey writers, sat down with Nikita Kucherov to watch some tape. Kuch gives some insight into his thinking and Prewitt, as he usually does, tells the story of the discussion in an engaging way. The opening paragraph is as good a spot for a block quote as any.

As the film session begins, Nikita Kucherov sets one ground rule straight. “No goals,” he says. “I don’t like talking about goals. Obviously I made something right, so what’s the point of watching? You should ask me something else.”

That’s classic Kuch and maybe my new favorite quote from him.

At The Athletic (paywall), Joe Smith wrote about Steve Yzerman’s struggles with balancing work and family. He talked to some other prominent people around the NHL to get a better understanding of why Yzerman stepped aside as General Manager of the Lightning.

That type of cross-country commute was common for Yzerman — who has three daughters, Isabella, Maria and Sophia — during his eight seasons as Lightning general manager. There were countless trips to see Sophia’s high school and college lacrosse, and Isabella’s equestrian events. You’d see his daughters pop up in road arenas around the league, as well as his wife, Lisa. Some would call him “Stealth Steve” for how he’d pop on and off team charter flights, making trips to Michigan during off-days.

Bryan Burns gave a short update on the coaching staff roles via tweet yesterday. With all the changes in the offseason, the team hasn’t said specifically who will doing what. Sounds like we’ll get more information as the preseason progresses.

The Prospects

The Crunch team employees got in some good community service work yesterday. Seeing the team doing charity work is always a nice thing.

The Game

The big NHL trade news of the summer finally happened yesterday and given that it involved the Ottawa Senators, the deal was exactly as stupid as you’d imagine it would be. We covered the specifics of the trade here yesterday so I won’t rehash that now.

To sum it up quickly, the Sens traded one of the best defenders in the NHL to the Sharks for some spare parts and a promise that the Sharks won’t flip him to an Eastern Conference team. Why Ottawa is so concerned with where Karlsson is playing when they won’t sniff the playoffs until approximately 2057 is anyone’s guess.

The trade resolves the issue of where Karlsson will play this season but not where he’ll play long term. He’s still scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent next summer and as that approaches, expect the rumors around the Swedefender and Tampa to reignite. The cap machinations would be complicated but with lots of blue liners coming off the books next summer and some prospects nearly ready to step in at the NHL level, the team could make it work.

Karlsson was understandably emotional at the press conference.

Senators fans reacted as expected. With well-earned frustration and anger. No fan base deserves to be treated the ways the Sens’ is by their team. The owner deserves every bit of criticism being directed at him and I don’t blame fans for any decision they make about switching teams or taking a break from hockey altogether given the situation in Ottawa.

Welcome to your Karlsson years is one of my favorite hockey blogs and they captured the spirit of the moment well yesterday.

5. One thing that can’t be overstated is how clumsy this all seemed from the get-go. Karlsson was going to be imminently traded for over half a year. Karlsson’s face was removed from promotional materials, the Canadian Tire Centre, etc. Your man got the full Enemy of Stalin treatment. Despite it all, we all still had to sit through the dog and pony show of the town halls and the *puts on Michael Jackson rhinestone gloves to make air quotes* contract extension offer before Karlsson got traded anyway and Pierre Dorion said “Yeah we’ve been talking about this since February”. What a waste of my emotional energy.

If a bearded guy yelling into an iPhone is more your style, brian5or6 reacted to the news as well.

But believe it or not, the Karlsson news wasn’t the only thing that happened in the NHL yesterday. Tyler Seguin signed a big 8 year 78.8 million dollar extension with the Dallas Stars. Sean Shapiro covered the news at The Athletic.

The contract comes​​ with an annual value of $9.85 million and runs through the 2026-27 season. Seguin has a no-trade clause for the life of the deal, which also covers this season, the final year of a six-year, $34.5 million contract he signed with the Boston Bruins back in 2012.

It is the richest contract in franchise history and a comes with a slightly higher cap hit than captain Jamie Benn’s $9.5 million per season.

The team did a great job with the announcement on Twitter.