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Karlsson May Play in World Championships, Talks Post-Kane Locker Room Chemistry

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

Erik Karlsson looks like he’ll be right and ready for next year.

The San Jose Sharks defenseman missed the last nine games of the season with an undisclosed lower-body injury, but he confirmed today that the injury will not require any surgery or procedure.

In fact, Karlsson is even considering going to Finland to represent Sweden at the World Championships in two weeks.

That’s great news for the Sharks, who are hoping to get first-half Erik Karlsson to start next year. Through his first 33 games, before his late January forearm surgery, Karlsson was pacing all Sharks defensemen with eight goals and 26 points.

Karlsson commented today on his season-ending injury, the change that a new GM may bring, and how Evander Kane leaving impacted the San Jose Sharks’ locker room.

Erik Karlsson, on missing the last couple weeks of the season:

It’s never fun, especially when things are not going the way that you want. That’s always the worst, to not be able to be out there and do what you can in those times, but it is what it is.

Unfortunately, we were at the end of the year and in the situation we were in, for me personally, there was no point in risking anything moving into the summer.

Karlsson, on if he can speak on what his lower-body injury is:

No.

Karlsson, on if this lower-body injury is related to any old injuries, such as his past groin or ankle injuries:

No. It’s nothing bad. As I said, if we were in a different situation, it wouldn’t be an issue. But given where we were, for the first time in my career, I put myself first.

Karlsson, on if he plans on playing in the World Championships:

I haven’t really made that decision yet. I’ve been in contact with the coach in Sweden and the Federation. We’ll probably come to a decision here in the next week or so.

Karlsson, on what he thought of the season:

It’s been so-so. I think it’s been mediocre at best. I don’t think it’s been horrible, but I don’t think it’s been nearly as good as we expect from ourselves.

So it’s been a challenging and a tough year, but hopefully it’s the start of a process.

I hope that [this season] was a building block. I think, as I said, it was a tough year for everyone. It’s not where we want to be. I don’t think it was terrible by any means, but at the same time, we don’t want to stand here right now and answer these questions.

Karlsson, on the importance of the Sharks adding offense:

We have to score more goals.

I think, no matter what team you are, you always want to score more goals. We, unfortunately, need to if we want to get to where we want to go.

In order to do that. we have to play better hockey. We have to play in a way where we create more chances, because you’re not going to score them all, but if you only get four or five a game, then it’s going to get tough to score three-plus goals.
Scoring is up, somehow, a lot. More guys and more teams are scoring way more goals than you did in the past, so that’s just the way that the game is moving.

Karlsson, on what a new GM brings:

That type of change hasn’t happened here in a long time. I don’t really know how that will go over and how it will work, but usually, when new people come in at positions like that, things are going to change. Quite frankly, it’s going to have to change.

Karlsson, on what he would say if the new GM comes up to him and asks why Bob Boughner should be back next year:

Yeah, that’s a good question. Not something that I’m going to share with you guys.

I think that I’ve had a good relationship with the whole coaching staff all year. What’s been said between us is gonna stay between us. I’m not going to tell anyone anything different than I haven’t told him.

Karlsson, on having a longer off-season and what he’ll be working on:

A lot of things, as always. Sometimes a longer off-season can be beneficial for you.

Unfortunately, we’ve had three in a row now, which is not ideal. But again, you’re going to have enough time to really work on things, and then you just gotta make sure that you utilize that time to your best of your ability.

I’ve got a lot of time to sort a lot of things out and work on a lot of things. Hopefully come September/October, I’ll be better than ever before.

Karlsson, on the chemistry in the room after Evander Kane’s departure:

We’re not playing a sport where one guy can make it or break it for you. We’re all part of everything.

Everybody’s talking about how everything chemistry-wise is better. I don’t think that it’s full on just Kaner leaving.

I think it’s on all of us. I think we made a conscious effort this year to try and be a little bit tighter and play a little bit different for each other. That was one of our goals, and that’s one of the ones that we succeeded with. Unfortunately, it didn’t take us where we wanted to go, which is to be in the playoffs.

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