I understand the theory that Karlsson is a "Murray Guy" while Lee is a left over from the Muckler era but I really felt like Lee had earned his spot on the NHL roster. More importantly, I just don't think the 2008 first round pick is ready.
If they think 10 games in the AHL is going to cure all that ails the underaged and undersized Karlsson, they are kidding themselves. With his appearance against the Bruins, the Senators have triggered a year in his contract and for what?
What happens when Volchenkov is ready to return? That could happen as early as tomorrow. Is Karlsson a healthy scratch? Or do they scratch one of Campoli or Picard over Karlsson?
There's no doubt Erik Karlsson is a blue chip prospect. He's going to be a terrific NHL defenceman one day. I just don't think that day is now.
The only way this move makes sense to me is if its a precursor to another move. The Senators are out on the West Coast now and it's possible Murray has a potential deal he's sitting on. Perhaps one that involves Brian Lee...?
The rumours with the Hawks have gone silent since last weekend but you'd think a two-way contract like Brian Lee's would make a lot of sense for Chicago—purely speculation on my part though.
But if this really is just a simple demotion/promotion, then I think it's a mistake for the organization. Karlsson just doesn't look ready and by demoting Lee they are alienating a player that has taken great strides over the last season.
Just my opinion though....