Erik Karlsson announces what's next for him

The veteran defenseman is coming off his 1st season with the Penguins.

Michael W.

Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Erik Karlsson is coming off his first season with Pittsburgh, as he was acquired in a blockbuster trade with the San Jose Sharks brought the reigning Norris Trophy winner to the Steel City. 

But not entirely unexpectedly, Karlsson wasn't able to replicate the magic of last season, finishing with only 11 goals and 45 assists as compared to the 25 goals and 76 assists he racked up the previous year. He also wasn't able to help the Penguins reach the postseason, who missed out on the annual tournament for the 2nd straight year.

His playing for this season hasn't come to a complete close, however. He'll be suiting up on the international stage for his native Sweden in the upcoming world championship tournament in Czechia from May 10-26.

However, the sting of not reaching the postseason is still fresh for Karlsson. 

“We had a good group of guys in here,” Karlsson said last week shortly after their season ended without a playoff berth. “I think we had a much better team than where we ended up. Ultimately, that’s on all of us. It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing on why it didn’t go the way that we wanted it to. It wasn’t for a lack of effort, I know that much. It’s a very professional group in here, and we all tried as hard as we could to find new ways and figure things out. Unfortunately, we did not. That’s just sad.”

Meanwhile, Karlsson was at a loss as to why he and the rest of his teammates were able to convert only 15.3% of their power play opportunities, the 30th overall ranking in the NHL. 

“I don’t think it’s just one thing,” Karlsson said. “We tried as hard as we could to figure everything out, and once it started going in the other direction, it was too hard for us to get out of it. What that is, I don’t really know. I don’t think there’s just one single thing, it was just a snowball effect that (none) of us could stop. … That’s something that hopefully, come next year, it’s going to get addressed. Hopefully, we don’t get off to the rocky start that we did this year. We definitely have the people to do it.”

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Source: Trib Live