Erik Karlsson won’t return until he is 100 percent

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Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson still has not resumed skating following offseason foot surgery, leaving his status for the team’s season opener on Oct. 5 in doubt.

It is possible he will not be back until later than that.

Karlsson said on Monday, via TSN’s Ian Mendes, that he will not return until he is 100 percent healthy “whether that is in October or November.”

The Senators play 12 games during the month of October.

Karlsson is one of the NHL’s best players and was a dominant force for the Senators on their run to the Eastern Conference Final this past season. He has been the most electrifying and most productive defenseman in the league for the past six years now and is already a two-time Norris Trophy winner. He has finished second in the voting two other times, including this past season.

He is the one player in the Ottawa lineup that can take over a game any night, so they absolutely need him to be healthy if they are going to make the playoffs again and go on another deep run. It would hurt if he missed time early in the season, but they need him to be healthy long-term to have a chance to compete. So if that means sitting out a few games early in the year, then it is worth it.

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