Six days before he could have started talking to other teams and two weeks before he could have signed with one, Sharks defender Erik Karlsson chose to be put.
29-year-old signed an eight-year contract with San Jose on Monday, choosing to leave unlimited free agency. The only active champion with two Norris Trophies and the highest scoring blue liner since he entered the league a decade ago, Karlsson probably would not have had any shortage of riders this summer.
He said Monday that the recapture was his top priority led in the offseason, and NBC Sports California analyst Bret Hedican believes it is a testament to what the sharks have built that the Swedish defense force completely excluded the free enzyme.
"I was just thinking of all the options he should have in July that maybe he would test the water," hedican hedican in an interview Monday morning. "But it only speaks to (general manager) Doug Wilson and (majority owner) Hasso Plattner and of course the coaching staff, all that has gone through the year, when Karlsson is here, that he was impressed enough with everyone and the situation where he is signing a long-term deal. "
Hedican played 1
Karlsson played 53 regular season games that lacked 27 drawdown due to groin problems that required offseason operation.
What will Help Karlsson as his ages be his quick thinking and decision making. Hedican resembled defenseman's hockey IQ for a modern computer processor.
"You remember when we first got computers, the processor wasn't that fast," called Hedican. "You had to wait to get things done. Now you have these [processors] that you hit a blow in the key, and all this just happens in split seconds, right? It's the processor that Erik Karlsson has.
"When you can lock a guy down like that, you don't just get the opportunities here every day."
Karlsson will not have the job of directing the blue line alone, especially offensive Brent Burns, a finalist from Norris Trophy who has just set a career high this season (83), is under contract for six years. Marc-Edouard Vlasic meanwhile becomes a free agent one year after Burns.
What Karlsson re-enters means for Sharks moving forward ]
Burns, Karlsson and Vlasic respectively ended No. 1 and No. 2 among the sharks in ice age during regular season and playoffs. Karlsson and Burns played together at times on the offensive zone faceoffs at one's strength, or when Sharks we push to tie games late, besides sharing time on power play.
Hedican said the two got some of the growing pains out of the way last season, but the common understanding between the duo must continue to evolve for Sharks to fight now and move on.
"You must understand it through the 82 games you might not get 22 minutes a night, maybe you get 18," said Hedican. "I think understanding it and having these two players work together during an 82-year-old game, learning to play with each other – and without each other – becomes important."