There was no prepared statement. Erik Karlsson wanted to “speak from the heart.”
Karlsson addressed the Ottawa media following the announcement of Thursday’s tradethat sent him to the San Jose Sharks. Everyone knew this day was coming. With the direction the Senators are currently heading, the best move for the franchise was to part with the face of the organization.
Fighting back tears, Karlsson explained that the Senators’ vision of their team going forward did not include him.
“I think they made it very clear in what direction they were going [in],” Karlsson said. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t part of that, and I respect that. It’s their decision and I wish them nothing but the best. I think that they’re going to do wonderful things. They have a good group of guys down there that are extremely motivated to keep pushing forward and doing whatever they have to do to be successful, not only this year but for a long time.
“I was not part of that plan. That’s why we’re standing here today. From my point of view, that’s sad. I never wanted to leave this place. At the same time, I respect their decision. That’s their decision to make and I wish them nothing but the best.”