It’s always news when Erik Karlsson speaks to Canadian media, and we got just that on Monday morning.
The 32-year-old, who is having the best offensive season of his career with 85 points through 70 games, took to the ice at Rogers Place this morning as he and his San Jose Sharks teammates prepare to take on the Edmonton Oilers later this evening.
Of course, the Oilers were a team rumored to be heavily interested in Karlsson right up until the 2023 Trade Deadline passed. The Norris Trophy frontunner spoke with reporters about that, James Reimer, William Eklund, and more.
See the full Erik Karlsson interview here
Erik Karlsson, on the rumored interest the Oilers showed in him earlier this year:
I read the same things as everybody else. I didn’t hear much different. I was never approached from any camp in any fashion. I just kept to myself and did what I’ve been trying to do for the most part of the year, which is to just focus on a day-to-day basis.
Karlsson, on trying to shut down the Oilers tonight:
I think we have to come out and be competitive. I don’t think we should worry too much about individual players, even though this is probably a team who calls for it the most. We just have to play hard, that’s our biggest thing I think, be competitive. Try and be on the right side as many times as possible and hope for the best.
Karlsson, on the San Jose Sharks’ struggles this season:
It’s been a tough year. I think that obviously, have had some individual success, but not going to lie, it’s not been fun for the majority of it, and it’s still not fun. That’s the way it should feel when you’re not winning games and you are where you are in the standings. It’s been a challenging year so far, and like I said I’m just hoping we can finish off a little bit stronger.
Karlsson, on if he’s put any thought into being awarded the Norris Trophy this season:
No, I haven’t. We’ve still got 12 games left, I think. It’s been a tough stretch since the Deadline I think for this group. Hopefully we can piece something together here and finish off a little bit stronger than what it’s been lately.
Karlsson, on how power play set-ups have changed since he first entered the league:
The league has changed a lot since I first came in. It’s always evolving. The style of play is not the style of play that used to work 10, 12 years ago. I think now you have to have a lot more motion, guys skate a little bit better on all fronts. I think it’s just so much faster now, whereas before you had a few more smart guys that would stand in the corner and pick pockets and find guys, and now you just have to have motion and have to be able to move. Same on the power play, the guys that are all killing can skate, and if you don’t get them out of position then you’re not going to get much help.
Karlsson, on James Reimer choosing to not wear a Pride jersey on Saturday:
We live in a free world. Everybody has their own decisions to make. I made mine. I’m happy about that. Everybody else did the same. I can’t speak for anyone else.
Karlsson, on how he felt Pride Night went:
It was great. It’s a good thing that we are in a position where we have a lot of focus and a lot of people are watching us. To be able to use our platform for certain things is a great opportunity to try and bring in knowledge and help other people.
Karlsson, on the San Jose Sharks re-assigning William Eklund to the Barracuda:
I think he kind of knew the situation he was in, unfortunately, with the contract situation and everything. He was obviously still very disappointed, as he should be. I’m sure this is where he wants to be, in the NHL. This is where he’s going to be for a very long time, so there’s no need to rush into anything. He’s done a good job this year in acclimating to the style of play, it’s only going to benefit him coming into training camp next year.
Karlsson, on how Eklund has changed from last year to now:
He’s matured a little bit. You can tell his body is starting to get a little bit stronger. After this summer is only going to help him, I think, for next year.
I don’t think this organization is in any rush to try and force him into doing things earlier than he’s supposed to. He’s a big part of the plan here and I think he knows that, so I’m sure he’s going to go down to the Barracuda with a good attitude and hopefully make the playoffs down there and get some more experience, which is just going to benefit himself and this organization, this time coming into next year.
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