Dreger: Senators cannot win Karlsson trade

Erik Karlsson is still, as of now, slated to begin training camp with the Ottawa Senators despite months of trade talks and speculation.

NHL Insider Darren Dreger co-hosted Thursday’s edition of Leafs Lunch on Toronto’s TSN 1050, and shed a little light on some relatively recent activity on that front during a segment with analyst Pierre McGuire.

“The reality of that situation in Ottawa is you cannot win this trade,” said Dreger. “You can’t win because Erik Karlsson is the best player in the deal no matter how many pieces you’re getting back.

“I know one of the teams involved made a pretty substantial offer, I would say several weeks or so ago, and I’m told that there were six elements to it. So you’re talking about at least a couple of roster players, at least a couple of prospects, and at least a couple of draft picks. Now, some of that is conditional on whether Erik Karlsson would sign with that team.

“But I don’t blame Pierre Dorion one bit. I don’t. He’s in a position where he’s got to maximize the return. What I wonder about though is what’s it going to be like in training camp. What’s it going to be like when you start the regular season and Erik Karlsson is still around.

“Because that stuff, it impacts the dressing room. It does. When you’ve had all of the speculation swirl around for so long, you’ve had the nonsense of the whole Hoffman scenario, all of that; there’s still a dark cloud over that room and it won’t get better with Erik Karlsson still around.”

The veteran defenseman is in the final season of his contract and has been eligible to sign an extension with the Senators since July, although that scenario seems unlikely barring an ownership change.

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