Five Reasons To Be Optimistic About The Ottawa Senators This Season

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Mar 22, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson (65) skates against the Dallas Stars during the game at the American Airlines Center. The Stars defeated the Senators 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

1.  A healthy and mentally re-born Erik Karlsson

After his injury in February 2013, Karlsson had to spend the majority of the summer of 2013 rehabbing instead of putting the normal training regimen in.  The result was spending a year of turmoil after some of his best friends and mentors on the team left (Daniel Alfredsson, Jakob Silfverberg and Peter Regin) as well as his short-lived marriage breaking up. Add this to the fact that his ankle still never felt 100% and that can explain why he went on such a roller-coaster ride last season and despite putting up 70 points looked at times like he couldn’t give a crap.

Karlsson has come into this camp with a completely different mindset and seems to have matured over the summer.  He has expressed that he is 100% healthy and seems much more engaged in what is going on.  That can only mean good things for Karlsson personally and the Senators on the whole, and there could be a return to the Norris Trophy acceptance platform next June.