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Erik Karlsson contract: How Sharks fan made pitch with song parody

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Erik Karlsson contract: How Sharks fan made pitch with song parody

How do you convince one of the best hockey players in the world to stay with your favorite team? You could always follow Sharks fan Emily Hall’s lead.

Hall wrote and sang “Time Is Nigh,” a parody of Blondie’s 1980 hit “The Tide Is High,” centered on San Jose defenseman (and pending free agent) Erik Karlsson.

When Blondie came on while she was grocery shopping back in December -- in an aisle with teal gummy sharks and Swedish Fish, no less -- she had her inspiration.

“I’m like, (singing) ‘the tide is high … the time is nigh,’ and literally, that’s how it hits me,” Hall recalled in a phone interview with NBC Sports California on Wednesday. “I just hear a phrase, and it comes together … and it sometimes never leaves my head until I actually finish it.”

This was shortly after Karlsson walked out of a press scrum that began moments earlier with The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell telling him “the time is nigh” for his first game against his former team, the Ottawa Senators. Karlsson opened his press conference in Ottawa the next day with the same four words, and they were soon stuck in Hall’s head.

But Hall, a Berkeley resident who has parodied songs with a teal twist on her YouTube page for over a decade, knew that a clever turn of phrase could only go so far.

“I actually try to take a song that has a feel of what it is,” she said. “In the case of ‘The Tide Is High,’ that song is about longing.”

That’s a feeling familiar to anyone who’s held a boombox outside of a window, flipped cue cards on a doorstep, or mouthed “you complete me.” Hall employed all three iconic romantic-comedy tropes in her video, and for good reason.

Since Feb. 25, Karlsson has been eligible to sign an eight-year contract extension with the Sharks. The defenseman can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and, like a rom-com lead making their dramatic pitch, Sharks fans (including Hall) are smitten and don’t want to see him leave.

"He has a lot to offer, right? His skating ability is amazing, and he just seems to have a really good attitude on the ice,” Hall said. “There's something about his personality that seems to fit. But not only that, when he's top of his game and the Sharks are clicking, just look at we went through. That last part of December and part of January was amazing.”

Hall recorded “Time Is Nigh” at some point after that run, and shot the video with her husband on a dreary February weekend in San Jose, just before the NHL trade deadline. She uploaded the video to YouTube on Monday, as well as the song recording and its lyrics to the karaoke app Smule to encourage other Sharks fans to sing along.

At least one Karlsson has heard it. Melinda Karlsson, Erik’s wife, tweeted on Monday that she was a fan.

The Karlssons have some time to ruminate on Hall’s parody pitch, and however the Sharks try to top it.

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In the meantime, Hall just wants him to get healthy. Karlsson has missed 13 of the Sharks’ last 18 games with a recurring groin injury, and Hall thinks they should rest him as much as possible prior to playing “a few games before the playoffs to get playoff-ready.”

Hall has followed this team since 1998, ever since she first attended a game on what was just her second date with her husband. With Karlsson in the fold, this San Jose team is as good as any she’s seen.

“I think the Sharks have a shot [at the Stanley Cup],” Hall said. “I do. I think this is the best roster we’ve ever had. … I think that we can beat Calgary. I think that we can beat Tampa, really.”

And if they do, Hall will have plenty to sing about.

Sharks' return in Brenden Dillon trade leaves something to be desired

Sharks' return in Brenden Dillon trade leaves something to be desired

The wait is over. Brenden Dillon has been traded from the Sharks to the Washington Capitals.

After weeks of being one of the most prominent names mentioned in trade rumors, Dillon got some clarity about his playing career Tuesday when San Jose traded him to the Capitals, who currently sit in first place in the Eastern Conference. In exchange for the rugged defenseman, the Sharks receive the Colorado Avalanche's 2020 second-round draft pick and a conditional 2021 third-round draft pick.

According to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, San Jose will get the Arizona Coyotes' 2020 third-round draft pick if Dillon and the Capitals go on to win the Stanley Cup this season. In the event they don't, the Sharks instead will get Washington's 2021 third-round draft pick.

So, the Sharks get a second and third-round draft pick for their pending unrestricted free agent. It's just a matter of when that third-rounder is conveyed, and from which team.

LeBrun reported that San Jose had remained consistent with its asking price for Dillon throughout the past week, and apparently, the Capitals were the first to meet it. Two fairly high draft picks for a rental is a pretty sizeable haul for the Sharks, and that return will prove very helpful in reloading their cupboard of assets. That said, it's fair to wonder if San Jose might have been able to get more in return for one of the best defensemen available at the NHL trade deadline.

On TSN's Trade Tracker, Dillon was listed as the No. 4 player overall and No. 2 defenseman on the big board. On The Athletic's NHL Trade Big Board, he was ranked as the No. 7 player overall and the third-highest rated defenseman. On The Fourth Period's Trade Watch List, he was ranked No. 6 and No. 3, respectively. On each and every one of those sites, Dillon was rated considerably higher than Andy Greene, Dylan DeMelo and Marco Scandella, all defensemen who 1) also have been traded within the last 72 hours, 2) are pending unrestricted free agents, and 3) brought back very similar returns.

For the 37-year-old Greene, the New York Islanders traded their 2021 second-round draft pick and prospect David Quenneville to the New Jersey Devils. Dillon not only is eight years younger than Greene, but has been a considerably better performer this season. Dillon's Corsi (47.51) and Fenwick (46.84) percentages -- which calculate the percentage of total and unblocked shot attempts while that player is on the ice for that player's team -- are significantly superior to the elder Greene's (40.35 percent; 41.95 percent). Greene was the Devils' captain, however, and that likely had something to do with New Jersey getting what it did for him.

While DeMelo (26 years old) and Scandella (turns 30 years old Sunday) both are much closer to Dillon's age and measure up better in both Corsi and Fenwick percentages this season, there's no question as to which of the three is the best player. Yet, the Ottawa Senators fetched a 2020 third-round draft pick from the Winnipeg Jets for DeMelo, and the Montreal Canadiens got a 2020 second-round and 2021 conditional fourth-round pick from the St. Louis Blues for Scandella -- whom Montreal traded a 2020 fourth-round draft pick to the Buffalo Sabres to acquire last month.

While Dillon's annual cap hit ($3.27 million) is considerably more expensive than DeMelo's ($900,000), it's actually cheaper than both Scandella's ($4 million) and Greene's ($5 million). When you consider San Jose retained 50 percent of Dillon's cap hit in the deal with Washington -- meaning the Capitals are taking on only $735,000 more salary against the cap for Dillon than the Jets are for DeMelo -- it begs the question as to if the Sharks maximized value in their return.

[RELATED: Report: Execs believe Jumbo trade to Bruins or Avs fits]

Don't get me wrong. The draft picks are very much needed, and certainly more useful to San Jose's future than Dillon will be, as re-signing the defenseman on the open market remains a long shot. The Sharks need to get whatever they can for players that will be of more use to them elsewhere, and the fact that Dillon wasn't traded until Tuesday after weeks (months?) of speculation could lead one to believe that a better offer wasn't available, nor was there going to be one. Still, given what some other teams got in return for worse defensemen, it leaves something to be desired.

Programming Note: The "2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Monday at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! How will the Sharks be impacted heading into the Noon deadline? Don’t miss it!

NHL rumors: Execs believe Joe Thornton trade to Bruins, Avalanche fits

NHL rumors: Execs believe Joe Thornton trade to Bruins, Avalanche fits

The Sharks already have begun wheeling and dealing ahead of the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline. 

San Jose traded defenseman Brenden Dillon to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday for a 2020 second-round draft pick (Colorado's previously acquired by Washington) and a third-round draft pick in either 2020 or 2021. And Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is expected to stay busy before the deadline. 

The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported Sunday that "the belief is Sharks general manager Doug Wilson has put up the “For Sale” sign and is trying to move as many pieces as possible before the deadline." All eyes now are on a franchise icon. 

Will the Sharks trade Joe Thornton to give him a better chance at finally winning a championship? It sounds like they might be leaning that way. 

"He has a full 'no move' clause, but the Sharks would like to give him the opportunity to win a Stanley Cup," Garrioch wrote. "If he’s going to be dealt, then league executives believe he’ll only go to a team that has a chance to win, so the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins are both viewed as good fits." 

The Bruins (37-11-12) lead the NHL in points (86) and are the top team in Eastern Conference. The Avalanche (33-18-7) are third in the Western Conference with 73 points. 

Thornton, 40, spent his first seven-and-a-half seasons with the Bruins before the Sharks acquired him from Boston in November 2005. He won both the Art Ross Trophy and Hart Memorial Trophy that season. 

The center has scored 25 points -- two goals and 23 points -- over 59 games this season. Thornton is the active leader in points with 1,503 and currently ranks 14th in NHL history in that category. 

[RELATED: How Sharks can benefit from injuries at NHL trade deadline]

The Sharks (26-29-4) have the third-worst record in the Western Conference. It would be no surprise if they have more moves to come, but would San Jose really trade its all-time assists leader in what possibly could his final season in the NHL?

With less than a week to go before the trade deadline, there will be plenty of attention on Wilson and what he does with a legend in San Jose.

Programming Note: The "2020 NHL Trade Deadline Show" is coming your way this Monday at 11:30am on the MyTeams app and on NBCSportsBayArea.com! How will the Sharks be impacted heading into the Noon deadline? Don’t miss it!