May 24, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) takes the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson
The Ottawa Senators have been a successful club for years, and are very close to taking the next step and making another run at the Cup. With GM Bryan Murray reloading the Sens’ roster for 2013-14, it signalled the end of an era; the longest serving captain in the NHL, Daniel Alfredsson, was on his way out of Canada’s capital.
It didn’t leave the Senators in a dark place, however. With a roster loaded with young talent, the Senators will continue to be contenders, with a new player leading the charge.
In Ottawa, it boils down to one man; Erik Karlsson. The Swedish standout is a dynamite defenseman, and is the future for the Sens.
Karlsson took home the Norris trophy in 2012 as the league’s top blue-liner, and could have many more in his future, if he stays healthy. He led all defensemen In scoring that season was 78 points, and defensively was airtight.
2013 started off as a mirror performance for the 23-year-old, until the infamous Matt Cooke incident, in which he severed his Achilles’ tendon. Although initial recovery was slated to be 4 to 6 months, Karlsson returned exactly 10 weeks later, and just over three months after his injury, logged 40 minutes of TOI in a double overtime win against the Penguins.
With six seasons to go in his contract, it is quite obvious the next era in Senators history will be the Karlsson one. Erik will try to follow in the footsteps of his legendary countryman, and the Senators will try to continue to be those ‘pesky Sens’.