Karlsson's wife Melinda officially filed an allegation of harassment against Monika Caryk, the girlfriend of Ottawa wing Mike Hoffman, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Could this have been part of the reason the Senators disintegrated in 2018? For whatever reason, Ottawa wasn't the same team after reaching Game 7 of the Eastern finals in 2017, finishing with the second-poorest record in the NHL. There's no evidence of fighting between Karlsson and Hoffman in the locker room, but a situation like this couldn't have been easy on either player. Both players remain on the trading block, and this makes it even more likely that at least one will be moved over the offseason.
Karlsson will be retained by the Senators -- at least through the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The elite defenseman has one year left on his contract with the Senators, and it comes with a modified no-trade clause and a cap hit of $6.5 million. As noted in this latest report, the team is prohibited from discussing a potential extension with Karlsson until the free-agent signing period opens July 1. Understandably, it sounds like GM Pierre Dorion will do whatever it takes to retain the Swede, as he's amassed 215 points (42 goals, 173 assists) over the last three seasons. The big question is whether Karlsson has a mutual interest in staying in Ottawa after the team finished seventh in the Atlantic Division standings after making it all the way through the Eastern Conference finals in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Karlsson (personal) will skip the team's final road trip of 2017-18, TSN 1200 Ottawa reports. Karlsson continues to deal with a personal loss and the team has no incentive to urge him to play given the playoffs are out of the picture. The star blueliner will finish the 2017-18 season having produced 62 points -- nine goals and 53 assists -- over 71 contests.
Coach Guy Boucher doesn't know if Karlsson will travel with the team for its three-game road trip, TSN 1200 Ottawa reports. Considering the Senators don't have anything to play for and Karlsson is dealing with the personal loss suffered by his family, it wouldn't be surprising to see him skip the road trip -- thus capping off his 2017-18 campaign. The team will leave for Buffalo either late Tuesday or early Wednesday and should be able to provide an update.
Karlsson set up three of his squad's five goals, but his team still fell short in a 6-5 loss to Winnipeg on Monday. If this was the last time that Karlsson will play in Ottawa in a Senators sweater, he certainly went out on a high note, showing the offensive prowess that has made him one of the most feared two-way players in the world. The Senators close the year with three road games, after which they face an offseason where Karlsson will be the subject of trade rumors following a tumultuous trade deadline.
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