Karlsson Mailbag

The day before Erik Karlsson was demoted to Binghamton, I had urged the readers to send in some emails regarding what to do with Karlsson. A number of readers responded to the call, here’s what they had to say (my responses will be in bold):

Who do we have on the back end that can clap an accurate shot on the net like Karlsson? No one on the back end has the skills Karlsson does. Regarding size, he’s managing and will continue to get better.

Murray will keep him here… I mean if we keep a guy like Randy Robitaille around for an entire season (who was useless). ~ Dylan

Ah, the Randy Robitaille defence. Why didn’t I think of this? The possibilities for employing this strategy are endless. Alexandre Picard was -4 in one game? Big deal.  If you can sit through a season of Randy Robitaille, you can endure this. Brilliant.

Sending him down (wherever) does do something more important though. It gets Lee up, Campoli playing with Kuba, and Picard stays up. Campoli with Kuba will excell, increasing his trade value. Karlsson will not outperform he, Lee or Picard this year, but likely will next year. So send him down to increase Campoli’s trade value, then trade him. Let Lee and Picard battle for spot #6, then trade one of them. Campoli and Lee/Picard together, for example, would likely bring some good returns in the summer if they had decent years in the NHL this year. Then next year you get whatever returns they yield, and get Karlsson to replace Campoli as an upgrade, and Cowen to replace Lee/Picard as an upgrade. The defence next year looks like this:

Philips/Volch – Yowzaa!

Kuba/Karlsson – Woohooo!!

Cowen/Carkner – Holy sweet love of God!!

7th: Picard/Lee (who cares)

Murray could make those Campoli & Lee/picard trades yield some good offensive prospects or be part of a deal that brings in a wicked-awesome 2nd line centre. And still we would have Leclair/Elliot in net. This is a Cup contender for sure. I am so excited thinking about this that I could shit my pants. ~ Tim M.


I don’t know if the city of Ottawa is ready yet for Brian Lee v.3.0. Has anyone’s trade value been hurt more than Lee’s in the past few years? I’ve always been a bit of Bryan Murray apologist, but one of the things that I’ve been critical of has been his regime’s willingness to move some players when their value has been at its peak. Names like Schubert, Emery, Zubov, Kuba and Neil at last year’s trade deadline and now possibly Lee are a few examples of guys who Ottawa didn’t maximize value on. (Note: I don’t think it’s fair to list Alexandre Picard in this group because he was hurt for the bulk of last season and I don’t think it’s fair to gauge his play under Craig Hartsburg.)

I’m so excited thinking about this that I could shit my pants. Granted, that defence that you listed looks good on paper. However, it’s important to keep in mind that Karlsson and Cowen will be rookies next season. Lauding them as a Cup contender might be just a tad premature.


I say keep him in Ottawa.

I would very much like to see how he does with Kuba, and I don’t think the SEL will do much for him at this point. He might as well tough it out now. He has gotten better each game, and once he has a guy like Kuba at his side, he should be able to take bigger steps.

Plus I don’t want to see Brennan or any of the other deadbeats over at the Ottawa Sun get something right. ~ Alan


Sens fans would rather see Karlsson stay up, just so that they can stick it to the Sun’s journalists? Ladies and gentleman, your Ottawa Sun.


Karlsson should stay with the big club so long as he’s playing better than the available options.  Right now, I think he is.  With Kuba coming back, I draw up the Sens D-depth chart as follows:



1-3) Phillips/Volchenkov/Kuba (no need to argue about what order they go in)

4)    Carkner

5)    Campoli

6)    Karlsson

7)    Lee (based on pre-season as I haven’t seen any Bingo games)

8)    Picard

I’m not big on the need to coddle young players’ development, meaning, if Karlsson falls out of the top 6 send him to Bingo. If Picard or Lee start ripping it up, Karlsson hits the busses. To me, sending Karlsson down is giving Picard extra slack, if anyone should get more rope it’s the hot-shot prospect. If it’s a money move than it is what it is, but from a hockey stand point, don’t like the move. ~ Isaac


Karlsson seems like he’s victim of circumstance to a certain extent. When Filip Kuba went down with an injury, Karlsson was forced to play with Campoli. Did he outplay Campoli? It’s subjective. But one of the things that Campoli did have over Karlsson was his one-way contract. Considering it’s come to light that as long as Karlsson has played less than 10 games with the parent club, he’ll be able to adjust to the North American game in Binghamton without losing a year off of his entry-level deal. It’s a win-win scenario for Sens fans and because of the likelihood that Cowen and Karlsson are pencilled into next year’s lineup, I’m already looking foward to the 2010-2011 season.