The Sharks caught everyone off guard Thursday morning when they acquired two-time Norris Trophy winner and four-time All-Star Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators for a package of players and draft picks.
San Jose included two players off its current roster in the trade, Chris Tierney and Dylan DeMelo, which came as a shock to current Sharks players.
"Significant player to add, yes. It's a bizarre time to make a trade when I had just come in and seen the guys, especially Tierney and DeMelo and they leave the next day," Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic told NBC Sports California's Brodie Brazil in an exclusive interview Thursday. "But it's part of the business, but we're getting an elite defenseman, an elite player in the league, and he can only help us and make us better."
Sharks forward Timo Meier came up with Tierney and DeMelo, and is disappointed to see them leave the organization, but he's excited for the opportunity they are about to get.
"It's definitely tough to lose guys like that," Meier told Brazil in San Jose on Thursday. "They are younger guys, I kinda came with them here, obviously got to hand around with them and get to know them pretty well, so it's tough seeing guys like that leaving, but I think it's a great chance for them to go somewhere else and show what they can do. They are obviously great hockey players.
"So it's tough seeing them go, but I'm really excited for their chance that they get there, and we'll definitely stay in contact with these guys, and it's going to be fun playing against them."
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News of the trade came while Sharks players were taking part in Media Day festivities.
"It all happened so quick," Meier said. "I think I was out on the ice doing some pictures and stuff, and came back and the big news came that we got Erik Karlsson, which is obviously really exciting for the whole organization, for San Jose. I think getting a player of this caliber, is huge for us. We're all real excited to get him here."
The Sharks already possessed a formidable defense with Vlasic, Brent Burns, Justin Braun and Brenden Dillon. Now they have added one of the top defensemen in the NHL to that group.
"I think we've always been good. We just keep getting better," Vlasic said. "Even with DeMelo last year, we were good. Now we're even better. At one point, me, Burnsie, Karlsson or even Braun will be on the ice, so I'm not worried about our D-core, I think we're really good, and then add Karlsson to the mix, we're even better."
Vlasic and Meier might be disappointed to see DeMelo and Tierney go, but they are both excited to see what Karlsson will bring to the Sharks, who now are major contenders in the Western Conference.
"It's a big boost when you add a guy like that, a guy that's won a lot of accolades and has established himself as one of the best in the league, it'll help," Vlasic said.
Added Meier: "It's definitely going to help us, a guy that brings that much creativity to the offense, being a defenseman. Power play, all that kind of stuff, he's going to help out team big time. I talked to Burnsie and these guys, and they're real excited to get him here, and I think we just got a lot better."