Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson will not join his team on their current road trip, but the possibility exists that he’ll be ready to go at some point next week.
The 27-year-old had surgery on his left foot on June 14 and will remain in Ottawa for conditioning as his Senators continue out West to take on the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers over the upcoming weekend. They’ll be back home against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.
“It’s all about conditioning and he has to get used to a different sensation in his foot, but there is no setback at all,” general manager Pierre Dorion said on Wednesday. “We talked before we left (for the road trip) that the best thing to get him ready is to have him skate with (player development coach) Shean Donovan on a daily basis.”
The Senators have been making adjustments without Karlsson in the lineup thus far. Head coach Guy Boucher dressed seven defencemen as his team took on the Canucks on Tuesday, with Christian Jaros making his NHL debut and Thomas Chabot joining the club for his second game in the NHL.
Dorion also noted Wednesday that defenceman Johnny Oduya could be ready to go by Saturday when the Senators take on the Oilers. He sustained a lower body injury on Thursday against the Washington Capitals and is still in Ottawa, but he may fly out to Calgary and join the team.
As far as Karlsson goes, he’s expected to join the team and pick things up right where he left off.
“With Erik, I know he’s putting in a lot of hard work on the ice and in the gym to come and help this team sooner than later,” said Dorion. “It’s just conditioning. We all know when Erik steps into the lineup he is not going to play seven minutes. He will play his usual 25 minutes to 30 minutes. I think when you have to play that many minutes, you have to be in shape.”
Karlsson had 71 points in 77 games last season, including 17 goals and 54 assists. He had 27 points on the power play, including four goals. He averaged 26:50 of ice time a game and had 218 shots on goal.