Folks, I was just minding my business being a good citizen and doing no wrong to anyone this morning when I saw a Bob McKenzie tweet pop up on my phone that rocked my world in a bad way.
Just a few moments later I saw this dreaded tweet from NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun.
In the span of 20 minutes my hopes and dreams of Erik Karlsson signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning and becoming one half of the most dynamic duo in NHL defenseman history with Victor Hedman has ended. It’s a tough pill to swallow. I’ve been hoping that this is going to happen for months, if not years.
First, it was supposed to happen last summer. The deal was even reported to be done. I got ahead of myself and even tried to recruit Kevin Durant to join the Lightning.
Then it wasn’t. We heard nothing for two months before we was traded to San Jose.
That being said, I thought San Jose was just a stop along the road to home. I thought it was the equivalent of an interstate hotel that he was pulling into after doing a long road trip all day. He’d sleep a few hours there and grab a cup of coffee and then be on the way to Tampa.
I especially thought this when just a few weeks ago he basically tweeted out his goodbye to San Jose.
Who sends out that tweet and stays on the team?!? That sounded like a legitimate breakup letter. At this moment I definitely thought there was a strong chance that he was going to come to Tampa.
The call never came, though. He never came home. Our hearts were toyed with for about a year and a half only for him to stay in San Jose.
In all seriousness, it’s probably a good thing that the Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t sign Erik Karlsson. Even with the Florida state tax discount that pending free agents take here we’re still incredibly cap strapped. Karlsson is also 29 and has a pretty serious injury history including one where they had to remove a good sized portion of his bone from his foot.
From Karlsson’s perspective, that eighth year was pretty important because of his injury history. If someone is offering you $88+ million it’s gotta be tough to say no to that.
While the dream of Erik Karlsson to Tampa is now dead, it was a nice run.
In regards to how the Karlsson watch ended…. I don’t have any words and I know you don’t want to hear them. I understand your anger, your frustration, your sadness. Everything you’re feeling – I get it. This isn’t the ending I imagined, and certainly not the one we wanted. Thank you for being there the entire way.
And now our (Karlsson) watch has ended.