Others said by trading away someone as good as Karlsson the team has parted ways with one of those rare players that can sell tickets on his own.
Coincidentally, Hoffman and Karlsson have an alleged connection that may have a played a role in their trades.
"This is the right moment for us to rebuild our team, and shape our future with a faster, younger and more competitive team on the ice", Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said. But Wilson stayed in touch with the Senators, and said the teams reached a deal because Ottawa was looking to get something done quickly.
Karlsson has been one of the top defensemen and arguably one of the top players in the league over the course of his nine-year career and carried the Senators to within one goal of an Eastern Conference title in 2017 despite playing with two hairline fractures in his heel.
Hockey fans in Ottawa reacted to the news that Senators star defenceman Erik Karlsson had been traded with everything from sorrow to more-measured responses - hate to see him go, but it had to be done. However, the Sharks aren't the only team inquiring with the Senators for Karlsson. "For the benefit of the organization, for the benefit of the rebuild, for the succession of the rebuild, I think today we made the proper decision".
"Yes, it's a longterm approach", Wilson said on a conference call, when asked about a potential contract extension for the two-time Norris Trophy victor and five-time All-Star.
Karlsson's breakout season came in 2011-12 when he had 78 points (19 goals, 59 assists), while averaging 25:19 of ice time, but his performance in the 2017 playoffs stands out. He's expressed that to us, that we are a place he'd like to be, and same thing [for] us back to him.
Balcers spent last season in the AHL and Norris was a first-round pick in 2017 and entering his sophomore season at MI.
An emotional Karlsson said even though there had been no shortage of speculation, the deal still caught him off guard. "I've still got to wrap my around what's going on".
Karlsson would be a huge addition to the Sharks blue line, especially as they look to build around the likes of Evander Kane and Brent Burns.
That launched the #MelnykOut hashtag on Twitter the same month, and while Melnyk eventually backtracked on the relocation talk, some fans chose to vent their frustration by raising money to fund a series of billboards featuring the slogan.
Though there had been talk about Karlsson's departure since the trade deadline last February, this will still come as a shock.
Karlsson, who said he'll return to Ottawa in the off-season, thanked the organization along with the late Bryan Murray and former captain Daniel Alfredsson.