Sharks' Erik Karlsson discusses injury, recovery after return to practice


Sharks' Erik Karlsson discusses injury, recovery after return to practice

Sharks fans may have been frustrated that Erik Karlsson was sidelined with an unspecified injury. But nobody has been more frustrated with it than Karlsson himself.

The two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman was a full participant in Sharks’ morning skate on Wednesday. Afterward, he told the media the wait to get back out there hasn’t been easy.

“I think no matter what, you always have that itch when you’re out,” he said. “It’s one of the worst feelings you could have.”

No. 65, who has missed eight games dating back to a January 19 contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning, said he hadn’t skated since the team went on the road last week, but was working off the ice as he recovered. In his return to practice on Wednesday, he was paired with Marc-Edouard Vlasic and filed onto the first power-play unit. 

“It’s nice to finally practice with the guys,” he said. “It’s been a long couple of weeks.”

Karlsson wouldn’t specify what the injury was – Sharks’ coach Peter DeBoer offered up some specifics in a radio interview earlier that morning – but did say it’s an ailment he hasn’t dealt with in the past. 

“Kind of a weird thing and something I haven’t dealt with before,” he admitted. “I didn’t really know how to approach it. Luckily, we have a great team around here and great people around here who know how to deal with it the best possible way.”

Although being sidelined has been difficult, Karlsson said there are some upsides to getting the time to rest and recuperate at this time during the season. 

“Rest is a privilege, even though it’s not fun it also comes with a few benefits,” he said. “Hopefully my body’s going to feel better now than it normally would have at this time of year if I would’ve been playing all those games.”

It doesn’t hurt, either, that the Sharks have played well while Karlsson has been sidelined. They’ve gone 6-2-0 over that eight-game span, with all six of those wins occurring in a row. Watching the team do so well, particularly on a tough road trip through Western Canada, has helped Karlsson feel like he hasn’t had to rush his recovery process.

“I’ve watched every bit of it and it’s fun to see,” he said. “It actually does make it a little bit easier when the guys are doing well and winning games. It makes you feel like you don’t have to rush things and force things, which has been kind of nice.”

[RELATED: Karlsson's offensive improvement comes at perfect time]

Karlsson is still considered day-to-day and hasn’t been given the go-ahead yet to return to the lineup for Thursday’s game against the Washington Capitals. He remains hopeful, however, that he’ll make a return soon.

“Today was a step in the right direction,” he summarized. “Hopefully I can take another one tomorrow."

How Sharks' previous trades, signings would be affected by new NHL CBA

How Sharks' previous trades, signings would be affected by new NHL CBA

The Sharks were forced to surrender multiple first-round draft picks over the past few years in order to retain top-of-the-line talent.

But in the NHL's new Collective Bargaining Agreement, San Jose's agreements with Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson would have been different.

Kane was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in Feb. of 2018, with the Sharks surrendering Daniel O'Regan and a fourth-round draft pick. But the deal included a condition that if Kane re-signed in San Jose, the compensation sent to Buffalo would increase in value. Sure enough, Kane re-upped with the Sharks and San Jose instead had to deal a 2019 first-round pick to the East Coast.

But the new agreement mandates that teams no longer can include conditions in trades that allow for further compensation if a player re-signs, meaning the Sharks would have been able to hold on to their 2019 first-round pick (No. 29 overall), which ended up being used by the Anaheim Ducks on Canadian wing Brayden Tracey.

[RELATED: How NHL's potential new labor deal could affect Sharks’ offseason plan]

Previous CBA guidelines didn't allow NHL teams to sign players acquired via trade to an eight-year extension until after the following trade deadline. This forced San Jose to wait until June of 2019 to ink Karlsson to his eight-year, $92 million extension with the team, despite joining the organization in Sept. of 2018 after a trade with the Ottawa Senators.

But in the recently ratified CBA, this rule no longer will apply.

The 2019-20 NHL season returns to the ice on Aug. 1, but the Sharks won't be one of the 24 teams competing.

Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'


Sharks' Evander Kane announces daughter's birth after 'tough journey'

Just over a year after losing their daughter during pregnancy, Sharks forward Evander Kane and his wife, Anna, welcomed another daughter into the world.

The Kanes announced the birth of their daughter, Kensington Ava, on Thursday on social media. Evander Kane said his daughter was born on July 3. 

"My wife Anna is a rockstar, the strength and love she has displayed over the last 18 months," Kane wrote on Twitter. "We want to thank everyone who has reached out during this period in support of our family and (we) appreciate the kind words throughout this journey. I'm so proud of my daughter, it's tough to put into words how much she means to me."

Kane thanked the Sharks, their fans, his friends and family "for their overwhelming love" during a difficult time. Last March, Kane announced that their daughter, Eva, passed away 26 weeks into Anna's pregnancy.

"You gave us all, especially your mom and I, something to be excited about," Kane wrote of Eva on Twitter on March 14, 2019. "And though we are devastated that you couldn't stay with us longer, your mom and I will always cherish the time we had with your beautiful soul. Your spirit will give us strength, your love will give us comfort. We will love you forever."

The Sharks, San Jose teammate Mario Ferraro and Hockey Diversity Alliance co-founder Akim Aliu all commented on Kane's Instagram post on Thursday.