Erik Karlsson was Ottawa’s best player in the postseason, despite playing through a foot fracture.
The price? Foot surgery that comes with a four-month recovery period.
Photos of Karlsson in Las Vegas, using crutches and with a cast on his foot, began to circulate on Twitter on Tuesday, a day before he could win the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman.
“Looking back, I feel a lot better now,” he told reporters.
“At the time, it was manageable and something obviously I could play through and play up to the standards that I thought I needed to be able to play and contribute for the team. At the end of the day, I’m paying the price for it now but looking back, it’s not something I regret.”
He was just one of many Ottawa players that battled through injury during the postseason.
His performance during the playoffs, as the Senators surprised many by making it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, left such an impression that Karlsson actually received one third-place vote for the Conn Smythe Trophy, despite his team not making it to the Stanley Cup Final.