OTTAWA, Ontario - Some of the most difficult questions of the afternoon on day two of the All-Star festivities in Ottawa were directed towards Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson, but the second-time All-Star didn't shy away, and provided some very clear and telling responses.
"His is longer, for sure," Karlsson said, when asked to gauge whether he or Kris Letang had better hair. "It is now, at least. He has a good flow, and I'm pleased to see someone else is doing that style."
This weekend has been a coming-out party of sorts for Karlsson, as media members from around the league are finally beginning to see the friendly, easy-going personality that Ottawa fans have embraced since he came onto the scene a couple of years ago. Karlsson's happy that people within and outside of Ottawa are getting to see a bit more about the personalities behind the players they watch on TV.
"This event is about getting to know the players, and seeing how we are just normal people," said Karlsson. "In the end, that's what we are, and we aren't that much more special than everyone else. I think it's important for people to ask whatever questions they want and see that we're not that different from them."
Karlsson is expected to compete in the Fastest Skater Challenge during the Skills Competition on Saturday, but he's not going into it with any preconceived expectations.
"I'm not expecting anything. I'll do my best, and we'll see how far it takes me. Maybe I'll have a bad day."
Even if Karlsson isn't setting high expectations for himself, Sens fans are expecting a lot from the young defenceman based on the many successes he's already had in the league. With more exposure over the course of this weekend, people in other cities are sure to start following Karlsson, too.