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Erik Karlsson returns to Ottawa to face his former colleagues



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Erik Karlsson entered the room Friday afternoon in family territory and made a great smile.

"Time is close," he said with a laugh.

On Saturday, the man who was captain of the Ottawa Senators for four seasons will return to the Canadian Tire Center. It is his first visit since it was treated in sharks of San José in September.

At the end of this game, Karlsson and the Sharks arrived at the track after a 5-3 and Karlsson and the Sharks arrived just after the game, they went on Friday night on Friday at Minto Sports Complex of the University of Ottawa.

The San Jose shark, Erik Karlsson, managed to elude a dozen fans who had been presented at the Ottawa University athletic facility to watch it before their first match against his old team, the Senators of Ottawa, at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday. I had lifted the hood of his jacket over his head while on the bus.

Wayne Cuddington /

Postmedia

"We arrived yesterday. It feels normal," said Karlsson. "I've just been home. We've been skating here today. Had we skidged in the CTC, it might have been a bit different.

"I feel quite calm, a little anxious and, obviously, it feels a little different. I slept at home, so it was good."

Of course, Karlsson was one of the last players to step on the ice at 2:03 p.m. and the rest of the shark players touched the pallets to welcome their old house.

Karlsson met with a large crowd of local media to talk about what he would be doing to his former colleagues. You will be welcomed with great ovation by the fans of the senators in which you are expected to be a sales pitch.

The San Jose shark, Erik Karlsson, practiced at the University of Ottawa a sports facility before his first game against his old team, Senators of Ottawa, at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday.

Wayne Cuddington /

Postmedia

"We all knew that this time was coming and I was going to be here," Karlsson said. "It will be good that I will be here and we will." After that, I think it will calm down because we will not return for at least another year.

"From now on I will only enjoy this moment if this is closing or I am not sure".

Asked if I had any complaints, Karlsson said quickly: "No, I had a good time here. I came here as a young boy and I've spent all my adult life here. I created everything I have for myself right now when I'm here and being around people here.

"I loved it. I had a good time. Looking back, I do not think it would change anything. They made me who I am today and I am grateful for that."

This will be very similar to the return of Daniel Alfredsson to Ottawa in 2013 with Detroit Red Wings and Karlsson recalling recently that they spent that day together. After finishing with the media, he went to Rockcliffe's house in Alfredsson to visit the family.

"I was here when he returned. This is a different situation, he was here for much longer and at a different stage of his career," Karlsson said. "It helped. I saw a bit from your perspective and how you managed things. Maybe I've helped a little.

"I was young at that time. I do not remember half of that. It was a special moment for him and I remember him. I'll see it right now so I can come back."

When the decision was made to deal with Karlsson in September, the organization had determined before the last trade date of the last season that they were going to rebuild. An eight-year agreement and $ 88 million was offered on July 1 and Senators received little or no response from their camp.

The San Jose shark, Erik Karlsson, practiced at the University of Ottawa a sports facility before his first game against his old team, Senators of Ottawa, at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday. Photo by Wayne Cuddington / Postmedia

Wayne Cuddington /

Postmedia

Many believe that Karlsson wanted to start over.

"I have nothing to compare with what is difficult to say. It's been as good as I could have," said Karlsson. "We have a great team, everyone has tried very well and trying to make it as easy as possible for me.

"At the same time, I have tried to stay as concentrated as I can in the hockey part. Regarding travel and lifestyle, everything is very different and it is something that will eventually be easier and simple. I'm excited about the next chapter of my life and the experience I'm going to get this ".

Changing Karlsson in September was not an easy decision for the organization, but the club came to the conclusion that it was time to move forward if I did not intend to sign here.

Stage change has not been easy for Karlsson. He fought consistently in the first 15 games in a San Jose uniform and those who see the team say that he has recently started to play his game. It is moving towards its star form.

The Shark of St. Joseph, Erik Karlsson, (R), seen here with a laugh with Barclay Goodrow, practiced at Ottawa University, before his first game against his old team, Senators of Ottawa , at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday.

Wayne Cuddington /

Postmedia

Substitute captain Mark Stone believes that it will not be an easy day for Karlsson.

"Erik was, ultimately, the best, if not one of the best, to play here," Stone said after the club skates. "For him, he's going to be pretty emotional and he's a very exciting guy, playing with him for five years now that's pretty fast.

"It will be different for him". I think everyone is excited to come (to the game), but are excited to overcome it. "

Yes, Saturday will happen in a moment.

"Ultimately, there are two teams that play and is no longer in our team," Stone said. "For (Karlsson), it will be very different from what will be for us."

Karlsson said he is not sure how he will react to the crowd.

"This is one of those things that I know is coming and I know that it is there and what happens in the moment will happen," Karlsson said. "I will try to enjoy it. I have nothing more than great memories and I am looking forward to creating more.

"The afternoon tomorrow will be another one of these great memories".

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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