The path is seemingly clear for Erik Karlsson to go back home to Sweden and receive the red carpet treatment, playing for as long as the National Hockey League lockout lasts.

Karlsson wants to return to Frolunda, where he was a star for two seasons before going on to even greater fame here with the Ottawa Senators. Frolunda team officials want him there. The Senators no doubt want to see their 22-year-old Norris Trophy-winning defenceman playing in one of the world's top circuits until the squabble between NHL owners and players is resolved.

And now that Sweden's competition authority has ruled that the Swedish Elite League's initial stance to not accept locked out NHL players is illegal, there are no hurdles keeping Karlsson from making the move.

Except, of course, for the not-so-insignificant financial matter of insuring Karlsson, who signed a new seven-year, $45.5 million deal with the Senators in June.

"They know I want to come home and I've been talking to them since the summer and now it's just a matter of getting a solution done and making it work for everyone," Karlsson said Friday following a workout at the Bell Sensplex. "I don't want to put them in debt or anything. I want to make them a better team if I come. I don't want it to be unfair for anyone."