Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Timo Meier excited by Erik Karlsson trade to Sharks

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Timo Meier excited by Erik Karlsson trade to Sharks

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."

[RELATED; Thornton reacts to Karlsson trade]

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."

Former Sharks defenseman Paul Martin announces retirement


Former Sharks defenseman Paul Martin announces retirement

After 14 seasons with the Devils, Penguins and Sharks, defenseman Paul Martin has called it a career.

Martin announced his retirement from the NHL in an article published by The Athletic on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old spent the last three seasons in San Jose and was released on June 22.

In three seasons with the Sharks, Martin finished with seven goals and 41 assists.

Martin was defense partners with Brent Burns when the latter won the Norris Trophy during the 2016-17 season.

As you might imagine, Burns had nice things to say about Martin in The Athletic's piece.

“The most special thing about that guy is it didn’t matter how many times you asked him how he was or what was he doing or what was going on, he always just cared about you," Burns told The Athletic's Michael Russo. "We always joked, we know his name, but we know nothing else ’cause he’s always asking if we’re all right, how our kids are doing, how life is. He just cared that much and he really put the ‘Nice’ in the Minnesota Nice. It’s like this guy just exemplifies that. I mean, just look what he’s doing for kids in Minnesota. That says everything you want to know about him. It’s just so genuine of him. I’m not kidding you, he’s the most genuine human being I’ve ever met."

Peter DeBoer talks Erik Karlsson, John Tavares ahead of first showdown


Peter DeBoer talks Erik Karlsson, John Tavares ahead of first showdown

SAN JOSE -- With the Toronto Maple Leafs in town and the Canadian media on the scene, there were two names that popped up a lot at the Sharks’ Wednesday morning practice: Erik Karlsson and John Tavares.

The two veterans were the biggest names on the market last summer -- both captains on their respective teams who had the opportunity to play for a contender. Fast-forward to November, and the two players are facing off for the first time since sporting new sweaters.

So naturally, Sharks’ bench box Peter DeBoer was peppered with questions about the Leafs’ newest forward and Team Teal’s newest defenseman.

You may recall the Sharks were initially in on the John Tavares sweepstakes before the 28-year-old center chose to take his talents up to Toronto. That didn’t stop DeBoer from praising his success since joining the Leafs.

“John Tavares, for me, is one of the best players in the world,” DeBoer said. “Playing with a lot of confidence.”

It’s easy to see why Tavares is playing so confidently, too. He’s leading the team with 11 goals in 18 games and is ranked second on the squad with 22 points. 

“I just love the honesty to his game,” DeBoer continued. “He plays both ends of the rink. He wins battles. He goes to the dirty areas of the rink. And he makes other people around him better.”

Of course, the conversation turned toward the big acquisition the Sharks did make this off-season: two-time Norris Trophy-winner Karlsson. While much of the outside focus has centered on the defenseman not scoring his first goal of the season yet, DeBoer was frank when he said he likes what he’s seeing from the new addition to the roster. He also noted that the number of goals scored isn’t the only number outsiders should be looking at.

“I think his game is trending in the right direction,” he said of No. 65.  “When you look at the underlying numbers of what he’s doing here, they’re as good or better than they were two years ago in Ottawa.

“All those things are there. It just hasn’t (broken) the right way for him yet.”

As far as finding the back of the net, DeBoer acknowledged the pressure on Karlsson can play a role.

“It’s human nature. You want to come in, you want to make an impact," DeBoer said. "For sure, that can weigh on you. But sometimes you have to take a step back and look at what’s actually going on.”

What’s going on now is the Leafs making their one and only season visit to San Jose after defeating the LA Kings 5-1 on Tuesday. The matchup with Toronto won’t be easy, much like the contest the Sharks just played on Tuesday against the conference-leading Nashville Predators.

“We know, like with Nashville, that we have to be on top of our game,” DeBoer summarized. “If you try and cheat, they can put up some goals really quickly on you.”