Erik Karlsson
It’s time to acknowledge Erik Karlsson is a swagged out, overpaid bum. Karlsson is part of the problem, not the solution in San Jose. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

It’s Time To Acknowledge Erik Karlsson Is An Overpaid Bum

Erik Karlsson is part of the problem, not the solution. The San Jose Sharks sit 20-26-6 and 7th place in the West division just ahead of the rebuilding Ducks. The problem is the Sharks aren’t rebuilding. They have numerous players on the roster that played in a Stanley Cup Final not too long ago. Karlsson is not one of them.

The former Senators standout defenseman claims he signed with San Jose because he didn’t want to rebuild. Turns out, Karlsson is helping tank the Sharks in the process. Karlsson isn’t the only player struggling in San Jose. Every veteran not named Evander Kane and Tomas Hertl has been a disappointment. However, Karlsson is in the midst of his prime and doesn’t look close to his prior form in Ottawa.

In 48 games played, Karlsson has a mere 20 total points (six goals and 14 assists). With the regular season winding down, it will easily go down as his worst point total since the 2012-2013 season where he played 17 games. Even in that season, Karlsson had 14 points. Karlsson is basically in witness protection compared to his Senators career. You can’t find him in the box score on a nightly basis.

It goes beyond the box score. Karlsson doesn’t pass the eye test anymore. Let me rephrase that. Karlsson still looks talented. He can skate the hell out of the puck and sauce that puppy around the ice wherever he wants. He’s just not a team player. He makes the pass the gets his team in trouble just because it looks fancy. Karlsson looks swagged out with his floppy hair but often his play involves more risk than reward.

Let me skate this bad boy around three guys while making a cross ice pass that winds up in a turnover and a goal on the other end. Hey, Karlsson looks good doing it though!

Karlsson is in the midst of eight-year contract worth $92 million. He’s head and shoulders the highest paid defensemen in the league. Karlsson sure as shit isn’t playing like it. If it weren’t for the luscious locks of hair, you couldn’t find him half the time. There is absolutely no excuse the Sharks should be this bad. Karlsson’s lack of a real impact is a big reason why.

That isn’t to say Karlsson doesn’t have talent. He has a nasty slap shot when he wants to shoot. He can stop on a dime and create offense that other defensemen simply cannot. It’s hard not to compare this to the Taylor Hall situation. Hall looked like he was dogging it out there with Buffalo. Hall gets traded to Boston and explodes. The Sharks stinks and it looks like Karlsson has mailed it in. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be more noticeable on the ice.

San Jose is totally screwed. It’s an aging team that already stinks and are trapped with a number of albatross contracts. Let’s be honest; I’d rather have Thomas Chabot at this point. I’d rather start over with Ottawa at this point. The Senators have a brighter future without Karlsson.

If Erik Karlsson doesn’t want to go through a rebuild, maybe he should start showing up instead of going into witness protection. Karlsson is far from the only problem in San Jose but he’s only expediting the issues with the Sharks.

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