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Eric Karlsson returns to Ottawa to meet with his former teammates.



Eric Karlsson entered the room on Friday afternoon in familiar territory and smiled broadly.

“The time is at hand,” he said with a laugh.

Saturday, the man who was captain of the Ottawa Senators' ship for four seasons will return to the Canadian Tire Center. This is his first visit since he was transferred to San Jose Sharks in September.

Based on a 5-3 loss to Toronto Maple leaves on Wednesday evening on the road, Karlsson and sharks arrived here immediately after the game, had a day off on Thursday and were on the ice on Friday at the Minto Sports Complex at the University of Ottawa,

San Jose Shark Erik Karlsson managed to slip away from a dozen fans who ended up at the University of Ottawa's Atlantic University to watch as he practiced before his first against his old team, Ottawa Senators, in the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday. He raised the hood of his jacket over his head when he got off the bus.

Wayne caddington /

Postmedia

“We entered yesterday. “It's normal,” said Karlsson. “I was just at home. Today we skated. If we rode the CTC, it would be a little different.

“I feel pretty calm, a little anxious, and obviously this is a bit different. I slept at home, so it was good. ”

Of course, Karlsson was one of the last players to take to the ice at 2:03 pm. and the rest of the Shark players knocked their chopsticks to greet his old house.

Karlsson met with a large crowd of local media to talk about what his former teammates would look like. He will be greeted with thunderous applause by senator fans in what is expected as a sold-out rink.

San Jose Shark Eric Karlsson trained at the University of Ottawa's Atlantic University before his first against his old team, Ottawa Senators, at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday.

Wayne caddington /

Postmedia

“We all knew that this time was right, and I’m going to be here,” said Karlsson. “It will be good that I will be here and we will do it. After that, I think he will calm down, because we will not be back for at least a year.

"Now I just enjoy this moment, whether it is closing or not, I'm not quite sure."

When asked if he had any regrets, Karlsson quickly said, “No. I had a great time here. I came here as a boy and all my adult life. I created everything that I have for myself, right now, here and around people.

"I love it. I had a great time. Looking back, I don’t think I changed anything. They made me who I am today, and I’m grateful for that."

It will be very similar to the return of Daniel Alfredsson to Ottawa in 2013, when the Detroit Red Wings and Carlson recall recently that they spent this day together. After working with the media, he went to the house of Rockcliffe Alfredsson to visit with his family.

“I was here when he returned. This is a different situation, he was here much longer and at a different stage in his career, ”said Karlsson. "That helped. I saw it a little from his point of view and how he handled things. Perhaps this helped me a little.

“At that time I was young. I do not remember half of it. For him it was a special moment, and I remember that. I will see him right now so he will give mercy.

When the decision was made to deal with Carlson in September, the organization was determined before they return to the end of the last season. On July 1, he was offered an eight-year deal worth $ 88 million, and the senators received a small response or did not receive a response from their camp.

San Jose Shark Eric Karlsson trained at the University of Ottawa's Atlantic University before his first game against his old team, Ottawa Senators, at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday. Photo: Wayne Caddington / Postmedia

Wayne caddington /

Postmedia

Many believe that Karlsson wanted to start a new job.

“I have nothing to compare, so it's hard to say. “It was as good as it could be,” said Karlsson. “We have a great team, everyone treated me very well and tried to make it as easy as possible for me.

“At the same time I tried to focus on the hockey part. As for travel and lifestyle, everything is very different, and over time it will become easier and simpler. I’m worried about the next chapter in my life and the experience I’ll get from it. ”

Moving Carlson in September was not an easy decision for the organization, but the club came to the conclusion that it was time to move on if he was not going to sign up here.

Carlson had a hard time changing the landscape. He struggled with the sequence in the first 15 games in the form of San José, and those who are closely following the team recently began to play. He moves to his star form.

San Jose Shark Eric Karlsson, (R), seeing that he was laughing with Barclay Goodrow, practiced at the Atlantic University of Ottawa before his first game against his old team, Ottawa Senators, at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday.

Wayne caddington /

Postmedia

Alternative captain Mark Stone believes that this will be a difficult day for Carlsson.

“Eric was ultimately the best, if not the best, ever to play here,” said Castte after the club skate. “For him, he will be quite emotional, and he is quite an emotional guy, playing with him for five years, you realize that pretty quickly.

“For him, everything will be different. I think everyone is happy to come (to the game), but they are very happy that it all ends. ”

Yes, Saturday will pass instantly.

"Ultimately, these are two teams, and he is no longer on our team," said Stone. "For (Karlsson), it will be a lot different than it will be for us."

Karlsson said he was not sure how he would react to the crowd.

“This is one of those things that I know that it fits, and I know that it is, and everything that happens at the moment will happen,” said Karlsson. “I'm going to try and enjoy it. I had nothing but wonderful memories there, and I look forward to creating more.

"Tomorrow afternoon will be another of these wonderful memories."

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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