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Erik Karlsson doesn’t see the point in Sharks returning

If they weren’t going to win a cup before the pause, they aren’t going to now.

WINNIPEG, MB - FEBRUARY 14: Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks looks on during a first period stoppage in play against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell MTS Place on February 14, 2020 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The Sharks defeated the Jets 3-2. Photo by Darcy Finley/NHLI via Getty Images

When it comes to the various scenarios under which the NHL could resume play, Sharks defender Erik Karlsson acknowledges the fact that ultimately, it means very little for this team, as things stood prior to the season pause.

“Obviously for us, it doesn’t really matter what happens to the season, personally,” Karlsson told Mike Tirico over video call on NBC Sports’ Lunch Talk Live. “But at the same time, you do feel for the guys and the teams that are in a totally different position.”

The Sharks were dead last in the Western Conference at the pause. No matter how the league decides to return, this isn’t a team competing for a championship this season. However small, the possibility remains that they may be asked to return to close out the regular season.

“If this would’ve happened last year when we felt we were right in it, and we were one of the candidates to have a great chance to win the [Stanley Cup], maybe it would’ve felt different.,” said Karlsson. “But as of right now, I don’t know what the point is for us to come back if they’re gonna play us five games [and we’ll] be away from our family and friends and put ourselves in that position for pretty much nothing.”

The league’s current plan seems to focus on having four “hub” cities — one for each division — where the remainder of the year will be played without fans in attendance. As Karlsson noted, that would likely require travel to cities with a decreasing frequency of new cases, as well as potential quarantining procedures upon return. It’s a lot to go through with very little payoff on their end.

On the other end of the spectrum, though, are teams who were in a completely different situation than the Sharks prior to the pause. Karlsson notes, “You’ve gotta think about the guys and the teams that are in a position to possibly win something, and you feel for those guys. It’s tough to say, because the situation is obviously unique and there’s not very many answers out there to what’s going to happen in the near future.”

Watch the full appearance here: