And they also failed to ditch the disastrous Bobby Ryan contract, which was a massive road block in trade talks with teams like the Vegas Golden Knights.
The decision to deal Karlsson isn't going over well in Ottawa - not only was he the club's best player, he was also one of the most popular to ever pull on the jersey, second only to Alfredsson.
Karlsson, a two-time victor of the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman, has one year at a $6.5 million cap hit remaining on his contract before he's eligible to hit unrestricted free agency in 2019.
Oh, and the Bruins absolutely do not have to worry about Karlsson torching them in April again if the Senators somehow repeated their straight-up freakish trend of having one awful year (last year) followed by a playoff-caliber year.
The Sabres conditionally own the Sharks 2019 first round pick.
The Senators didn't want to risk losing him next year without receiving anything in return, so they're moving him a year early for a haul to bolster their rebuild.
Wilson said the Sharks felt they had to pay a high price to get Karlsson.
The Sharks wanted to improve that unit this offseason and with Karlsson potentially setting up Burns for big point shots, they found the missing piece. "We look at Erik much like we looked at Evander [Kane in May], as a guy who fits now and in the future age-wise, style of game". Senators winger Bobby Ryan told the Ottawa Sun in May that he heard a deal was done to send himself and Karlsson to a Western Conference team, but "somebody backed out at the last second". We're in the mode of trying to win right now, and I think that's something that's attractive to him.
The Sharks never let up in their interest in Karlsson and made the addition without giving up a top-six forward or top-four defenseman from the current roster. "We've had discussions about it, but you never really feel that it's going to come to fruition, a deal like this, until you actually get that call".
Karlsson will face his Ottawa teammates for the first time on December 1 at the Canadian Tire Centre, while the Senators visit San Jose on January 12. He has 41 goals and 63 assists in 284 career games. The 6-foot-1 DeMelo is next in line, with 20 assists in 63 games a year ago while averaging 14:12 per game, and has three goals and 32 points in 133 career games with the Sharks. Fantasy hockey owners will surely be circling around San Jose with two of the game's most productive defenders playing on the same team.