If nothing else, the events of the last two weeks have likely prepared Senators fans for the likelihood that the captain of their team and most talented player in its history won’t be playing in Ottawa much longer.
All signs seem to suggest that Erik Karlsson doesn’t see his future with the Senators. It’s looking very much like he will be traded in June or July. That and other developments have caused a serious fracture between fans and team ownership. It’s a sad state of affairs, one that some observers have described as the worst in team history. But it’s not the end of the world. Many teams have recovered from worse. And countless others have become saddled with big long-term contracts that stretch well past the best-before date of their franchise players.
With the prospect of a new downtown arena and a new infusion of revenue, the Senators are well-positioned to be a strong franchise in the future, whether Eugene Melnyk or someone else owns the team. Erik Karlsson is a very special player. But in sports, even after big losses, there is always reason to hope for the future.