Days after the Sharks were eliminated by the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of the Western Conference final, Erik Karlsson tweeted out what many believed was a goodbye message to the team and its fans.
It turns out that might just be the case.
Karlsson was traded to the Sharks last offseason from the Ottawa Senators, but a return to Canada reportedly could be in the cards for the star defenseman. The Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan reported Tuesday, citing "a well-connected source," that Karlsson hopes to receive contract offers from the Senators and the Montreal Canadiens when NHL free agency opens July 1.
While Karlsson has loved his time with the Sharks, Brennan reported that the blueliner is hoping for a return to Canada because his wife, Melinda, is an Ottawa native who is "homesick."
That certainly would be a good reason to head back to the Eastern Conference.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday that Karlsson would give a "long, hard look" to staying with the Sharks, but Brennan reported it is believed the defenseman already has decided that he is leaving San Jose.
Brennan noted that both the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs also would fit the bill, but neither reportedly are on Karlsson's list as of right now.
Before trading him to the Sharks, the Senators offered Karlsson an eight-year, $80 million deal that he declined. The Senators probably could sign Karlsson for less than that now, given his injury history, but a number of other teams also will be in play for his services.
At any rate, it appears Karlsson's time in San Jose could be over.