When a team makes an unexpected run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs it is enthralling for the fans of that team. The Ottawa Senators were that team in 2016-17. They were one goal away from beating the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. They made it to overtime in Game 7. A tremendous run.
The problem with these great runs is that they can give naive front office people the wrong message. That message is that the team is ready to compete for a championship. When you start to blindly trust the results and ignore the process you are susceptible to an "unexpected" letdown. You start making win now trades like the one they made with Colorado for Matt Duchene. Instead of having patience the Senators blew through some futures and have nothing to show for it. No matter how great Duchene plays the Senators aren't going anywhere.
A great sign of a team with no direction is that they wildly change their overall plans shortly after they went in another opposite direction. So now the team is releasing weird videos with their owner talking about a full rebuild. That full rebuild includes losing perhaps the best player in franchise history (yes I know Daniel Alfredsson exists).
Losing Erik Karlsson is bad enough. Everybody knew it was coming, but also knew they had waited too long and weren't the kind of organization you would trust to make a huge deal like this. The return is bland just like the Senators. This deal had to be a homerun because of the Duchene trade and it was not. Chances are the Senators are going to bottom out this year and won't even have a reward for it. Their first round pick belongs to the Colorado Avalanche who are popping champagne in the mountains.
As for Karlsson he gets a great upgrade going from the Senators to the Sharks. Their blue line is tremendous. However, their window is not. If I were Erik Karlsson I would not be signing an extension. I would definitely test the free agent waters. San Jose is still a good team, but their core players are all aging past their personal primes. Signing eight years in San Jose seems like a very shortsighted move. Play out the year and re-evaluate. You don't get too many chances as a megastar to choose your own destiny.
Chances are none of the draft picks pan out for Ottawa and they lose a top five pick next year. What is the point of the Ottawa Senators?
Thanks for reading!