SAN JOSE -- Not all new parents go back to work right after the birth of their child.
But new father Erik Karlsson was with the Sharks for Friday's morning skate ahead of San Jose's home opener against the Vegas Golden Knights. In addition to being happy the defenseman will be back in the lineup, his teammates were excited that Karlsson and his wife, Melinda, had welcomed a baby girl into the world.
"Fatherhood is the best thing in the world," Joe Thornton said Friday. "We're all very, very happy for him."
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To my beautiful wife for doing everything in her power to bring our beautiful little baby girl in to this world, never have I met a more determined or stronger person than you. It hasn’t been easy but after the rain finally our little rainbow arrived. Love you both more than I could ever imagine.
Harlow Rain Karlsson was born on Oct. 3, which Karlsson happily announced to the world via social media that evening. While there have might have been plenty of outside concern when Karlsson was abruptly scratched from the Sharks lineup ahead of Wednesday's season opener, Thornton revealed Friday that the team was kept in the loop.
"Having a kid, you're all smiles," Thornton said. "He's very, very excited. Like I said, we're all just very happy for him."
Their daughter's birth occurred just over 18 months after the Karlssons lost a child. While Erik was still a member of the Ottawa Senators, their son was stillborn in March 2018.
"They've been through a lot. A lot more than anybody should have to go through," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "You can see the relief and the excitement on their faces and when you talk to him here. It's a special moment for them."
Karlsson is expected to be back in the Sharks lineup Friday evening for their rematch with the Golden Knights. San Jose dropped its season opener 4-1 on Wednesday.
At Friday's morning skate, Karlsson was once again paired with Brenden Dillon, his partner through most of his first season in San Jose.