The San Jose Sharks have just announced some devastating news.
According to a press release from the Sharks official website, the team has made the decision to shut down star defenseman Erik Karlsson for the remainder of the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season. The Sharks are reporting that Karlsson suffered a broken thumb during the Friday night matchup between the aforementioned Sharks and the Winnipeg Jets. The injury is on his left hand and according to the team the recovery period will now keep him out for the rest of the season, however the team expects him to have fully recovered by the time training camp for the 2020 - 2021 NHL regular season rolls around.
It's a huge loss for the Sharks, although if Karlsson were going to suffer a serious injury now would probably be an ideal time for that to happen. The Sharks have had a terrible season and are well out of playoff contention at this stage of their campaign, so much so that you could argue losing a talented defenseman like Karlsson may be a good thing at this stage. The Sharks will be a part of the NHL's draft lottery this time around and the more games they can lose down the stretch the greater their odds of winning that lottery will be.
The Sharks also announced a corresponding move on Saturday, revealing that they were calling up defenseman Jake Middleton from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League and presumably he will be remaining with the team for some time. Middleton had only appeared in just 4 NHL games this season for the Sharks and just 7 NHL games total throughout his young career thus far. The 24 year old right shooting defenseman was selected in the 7th round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, but has been under the umbrella of the Sharks organization for the past several seasons.