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Karlsson says no timetable for contract talks with Sharks

San Jose's 'done everything more than good' since trading for him

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Erik Karlsson knows the clock is ticking for him to make a big decision about his future.

Karlsson, acquired by the San Jose Sharks in a trade from the Ottawa Senators on Sept. 13, is in the final season of a seven-year contract.

"Yeah, the time is nigh," Karlsson said Thursday during NHL All-Star Game Media Day presented by adidas. "It's coming up. We all know it. There's no way around it. You guys are going to talk about it. I'm going to think about it. That's just the way it is."


[RELATED: Karlsson will play in All-Star Game, represent host Sharks]


The 28-year-old defenseman has been eligible to sign a new contract of up to seven years with the Sharks since Jan. 1. He would have to wait until after the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 to sign an eight-year contract with them. Or he can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

"We have no timetable on anything," Karlsson said. "Whatever goes on is going to be handled privately. (San Jose general manager) Doug Wilson has been great with us ever since we got here. He's been very respectful. I appreciate that a lot, both me and my wife do. When the time comes for a decision to be made, whenever that is, I think they've done everything they possibly can to give us the most information we need to make the right decision.

"We came in here with an open mind, and I think we're going to do everything we can to make the best possible decision for everyone, and especially ourselves with the information that we have at the time. They provided more than enough."

Video: All Star Media Day: Karlsson

Karlsson said he made it clear when he was traded to the Sharks that he would need time to adjust to a new team and a new city before considering whether to make a long-term commitment.

"They've done a fantastic job in letting me have that freedom," Karlsson said. "They've been very respectful of that, but at the same time, the time is coming up here now and things are starting to wind down. It's something that we're going to have to think about, but yeah, we do have a lot more information now than we did before, and we like it. Once that time comes, we're going to sit down and try to figure that out. I'm sure we'll do it in the best possible way. So far, the Sharks organization has done everything more than good."

Karlsson got off to a slow start with the Sharks, but he has 43 points (three goals, 40 assists) in 47 games. He had at least one assist in 14 consecutive games he played in from Dec. 7-Jan. 8. During that span, he had one goal and 24 assists.

"I wasn't concerned about it," said Karlsson, who won the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the NHL with the Senators in 2011-12 and 2014-15. "I've felt great all year. I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm in this part of my career now where I think I have enough experience and motivation to keep getting better. It just took a little while before it all settled in, but overall I'm at peace with where I'm at and I'm just looking forward to the future."

Karlsson has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury but said he will play in the 2019 Honda NHL All-Star Game. He is one of three Sharks who will play in the game at SAP Center, their home arena, joining forward Joe Pavelski and defenseman Brent Burns.

"I know how much it means for the community and city and especially for the fan base now here in the Bay Area," Karlsson said. "It's a great way to showcase what we have to offer, and I'm extremely excited and proud to be a San Jose Shark."

Karlsson said he feels "great" about his situation since the trade.

"I think that both me and my wife liked it here instantly," he said. "It took us a little while to get settled in and getting new routines. ... But again, I think the people around here -- the organization and my teammates and everybody -- did a great job in helping us settle in as quickly and as comfortably as possible and giving us all the room that we needed to grow individually to establish ourselves. I think we're past that threshold now where we wake up every day and kind of know what to do."

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