Will the Ottawa Senators be able to follow the lead of the Montreal Canadiens and execute a long-awaited trade before training camp opens?
Marc Bergevin shipped Max Pacioretty off to Vegas Sunday evening, but Pierre Dorion has been unable to find an offer he deems acceptable for Erik Karlsson - which means yet another distraction may well be lingering around this team for awhile to come.
“I think they would like to do it, but I’ve been told that they simply at this time do not like the offers that they’re getting for him,” indicated NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman during a Tuesday evening radio hit on Toronto’s Sportsnet 590. “Now, that might change in the next 24-48 hours, but to this point - they’ve wanted to do it for awhile, and they have held off because they don’t like the offers.
“I don’t think they will do it now if their offers don’t get better. That’s what I’m told.”
The point was made to Friedman that the Senators should realize Karlsson’s value on the trade market would likely only diminish from this point on with each game the defenseman plays.
“It depends,” countered Friedman. “The thing that you’re banking on is that somebody who needs to have a good year gets off to a bad start. That’s what you’re banking on.
“... Or somebody says, ‘We’re really good and Erik Karlsson could be the final piece for us.
“But I’ll tell you one thing: The biggest question I have - I think the team that Erik Karlsson - or one of the teams - that he would really like to go to is Tampa. There was a GM change there today. One of the first things I wondered from Julien BriseBois, does he feel differently about what they were offering for Erik Karlsson than Steve Yzerman did.”
The Lightning announced Tuesday that Julien BriseBois was being elevated to the position of general manager, while Steve Yzerman would be moving into a senior advisor role in order to spend more time with his family.
The argument was made to Friedman that the Lightning does not have cap space for Karlsson, and “how are you going to fit $11-12 million in there.”
“Well, you only have to fill 6.5 for this year,” argued Friedman, alluding to this final season of Karlsson’s contract which counts $6.5 million against the cap and is $7.5 million in actual salary. “And he’s not going to do 11, 12 in Tampa. If he signs there, he’ll be signing for Kucherov, Stamkos, Hedman money, somewhere in that range.
“And thirdly, Ottawa has got a ton of cap room. If Tampa has to move a guy to do it, Ottawa can do it.”
TIme will tell how the Karlsson trade situation unfolds, and keep in mind Pierre LeBrun’s indication that “a couple of new teams” may have popped up onto the radar on this front.
Cap-related info via CapFriendly