Erik Karlsson thanks Sharks organization, sounds like he's leaving San Jose in free agency
The big-name defenseman is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer
The star defenseman paid tribute to his team, teammates and fans via Twitter on Friday, and while he didn't deny he could be back with the organization after one year in teal and black, his statement reads a lot like a goodbye -- with plenty of past-tense remarks.
"Thank you to the entire San Jose Sharks organization, fans, and especially teammates," he wrote. "It was a great run that ended too early. But lots of great memories where created. The entire Bay Area has been nothing but classy and respectful to me and my family. Thank you."
Not exactly a "Let's get back at it next year!" Karlsson can't really be faulted because as a pending unrestricted free agent he may very well be gone this summer, and Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has plenty of big decisions to make, especially with the futures of fellow big names like Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton up in the air. But even with Wilson admitting Karlsson means "the world" to San Jose months after he was acquired from the Ottawa Senators, it's clear Karlsson could have his sights set elsewhere.
Or at least that's how a number of Sharks fans reacted to the All-Star's thank-you tweet.
A two-time Norris Trophy winner, Karlsson landed in San Josein September 2018, when the Sharks dealt future first- and second-round draft picks, along with four players, to Ottawa. San Jose advanced to the Western Conference Finals with the former longtime Senators star on the blue line, but Karlsson finished with just 45 points, his lowest total in more than five years, in large part due to injuries -- including one that forced him out of San Jose's final game of the postseason.
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