NHL trade deadline 2018: Erik Karlsson says he 'never wanted to leave' Ottawa
The All-Star Senators defenseman is staying put despite an onslaught of rumors, and he's OK with it
The two-time Norris Trophy winner was the biggest name on the block ahead of Monday's in-season deadline, especially after from TSN's Bob McKenzie, among others, suggested Ottawa had some serious discussions with teams like the Vegas Golden Knights regarding Karlsson's availability. But in the end, nothing happened, leaving many to deem Karlsson and the Sens .the Senators have no plans of giving their longtime blue-liner another long-term contract. Last-minute tweets
It turns out, however, that Erik Karlsson isn't so bummed about that.
During a session with Ottawa media broadcast by TSN 1200 on Tuesday, the 27-year-old defenseman said he "never wanted to leave" the Senators despite the popular notion that a trade would give him a chance to join a playoff contender for the rest of 2017-18.
"No, I never wanted to leave," Karlsson said when asked whether he ever requested a trade. "I never had any say in that, and that's a different part of the business that I can't control. And hearing your name being thrown around as much as it was, [that] was very stressful and not something that I enjoyed going through.
"I love it here," he continued. "I've always loved it here. ... I'm at peace where I'm at."
Karlsson didn't exactly commit to a long-term future in Ottawa, though. Opting instead to address the rest of his current season with the Senators, who sit among the NHL's worst teams after a surprise run to the Eastern Conference finals in 2016-17, he admitted he doesn't know what lies ahead since there have "been a lot of changes made here." And his immediate focus, beyond his own performance, will apparently be on "helping younger guys" who figure to play a bigger role in 2018-19.
TSN's Travis Yost previously reported that if the Senators still had Karlsson on their roster after the deadline, they would likely just trade him in June instead.
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