Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson was named the 3rd best player, and 1st best defenseman, in the entire NHL in a recent survey from a TSN panel of 22 experts. So you’ll excuse Sens fans if they’re a little concerned about how his recovery from foot surgery is progressing. The team’s entire offensive and defensive strategies flow through Karlsson… he’s truly that straw that stirs the drink in Ottawa. If they team were to lose him for any significant amount of time, they’d struggle to remain in the Stanley Cup Playoff hunt.
Earlier reports indicated that Karlsson may be out long-term with his injury, not expected back until November at the earliest. Now, Sens GM Pierre Dorion and Karlsson himself admit that things are looking more optimistic now for an October return.
“Obviously he’s taken a few big steps here as far as being on the ice, skating with his teammates,” Dorion said during an appearance on Sportsnet’s Tim & Sid Show on Tuesday. “We’ll see how the next few weeks go along and we know he’ll be back before Christmas, and we hope it’s in October.”
Karlsson, for what it’s worth, has no doubts that he’ll be back sooner rather than later. “I think I’ll be back in October sometime. Whether it’s October 4 or if it’s October 24, I’m not sure. We’re not sure.”
This has to be seen as positive news for Sens fans. While some are still holding out hope for an opening night return, just the fact that Karlsson speaks so confidently about his return, has to bode well for the Sens in the long run.