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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Is Karlsson Available?

So the Hockey Night in Canada panel had a conversation about one Erik Karlsson that probably has 30 teams dreaming and one locked in total dread. As per Elliotte Friedman, there is a strong possibility that the Ottawa Senators have already requested the list of teams that Karlsson will not go to in a trade (as dictated in the terms of his NTC).

This eyebrow raising move comes after Erik Karlsson made it publically clear that he would not be willing to take a hometown discount to stay in Ottawa. Friedman passes along the sentiment expressed by his source that the Sens are not looking to trade Karlsson just because he said these things. However, you don’t ask for this list unless you’re willing to move the NHL’s most dynamic defender on some level.

Friedman, on the panel, made mention of the fact that the Senators have 10 players with No Trade Clauses and they are collecting the various lists just as they had done in the past when they were in this situation. The Senators are 29th in the NHL, on a shoestring budget, and are staring down the barrel of a new contract for Karlsson that should be in McDavid range.

While trading Karlsson is a losing scenario, the reality of Ottawa’s position financially might force the team’s hand. Kypreos in the same segment questioned whether Melnyk could afford to pay Karlsson and surround him with enough players to win (read: make the playoffs and earn that post-season revenue). Given that the Senators are poorly located (logistically) and couldn’t draw fans for even their playoff run, there might be more to that argument than we would like in a perfect world.

Erik Karlsson is the crown jewel of mobile defenders for a lot of people in the NHL. He plays 25+ minutes a night despite undergoing major ankle surgery not long ago. He is fifth in points per game right now but has been either first or tied for first in P/GP by defenders in every year since 2013-2014. He’s also an incredible 8.05 CF% Relative to his team. As in, when he’s on the ice, the Sens get boosted so much it’s mindboggling. They are competing with him on and useless with him off.

Email sent from: “Grant, Rob” rgrant@thestar.ca Subject: gettychiarelli Date: 12 April, 2015 8:14:40 PM EDT Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 25: General Manager of the Boston Bruins Peter Chiarelli attends the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at Staples Center on June 25, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If Erik Karlsson is available, even if the price is high, you have to find out if you are on his no trade list or not. Edmonton has been on the no-trade list of probably every single NTC signed in the history of the NHL until Connor McDavid joined the franchise. It’s possible that the thought of playing for a legitimately wealthy owner, in a new centrally located arena, with the best player in the world might keep Edmonton off that list he apparently submitted to Sens management.

Can the Oilers afford Karlsson? He makes $6.5 million this season and next before becoming a UFA. He cannot sign an extension until the summer but when he does he will factor in close to $10 million dollars per season at least on the open market. He said he doesn’t want to take a pay cut and we believe him. He might be gunning for closer to $12 million a season. The Oilers already have McDavid at $12.5 starting next season plus Draisaitl at $8.5M. However, they also have Lucic and Russell combining for $10M a season. If you trust in Chiarelli’s ability to move some of the high priced players then there are possibilities to make it work.

Short term? It’s doable. Long term? Bodies need to move.

What about the price? The sticker shock is going to scare some away but for others, the only player off the table is McDavid. I don’t think the Senators can win any trade involving Karlsson. It’s just a matter of how much they lose.

The “easiest” thing to do for the Oilers would be to center a deal around Leon Draisaitl and his $8.5 million dollar per season contract. From a potential money in to money out that’s the best way for the team to remain mostly intact and add Karlsson. It’s also really hard to judge how much that makes sense for the Sens because the entire reason Karlsson might be on the move is because they cannot afford him.

If they can’t afford to pay Karlsson $10-$12 million, does Draisiatl at $8.5 make any sense? The Senators a budget team and have been for a long time.

I wonder if a deal for Erik Karlsson from the Oilers wouldn’t look more like Klefbom, Yamamoto, the Oilers’ first this season, and potentially a Jones or Bear thrown in as well. It’s a young D-man on a longterm contract at very reasonable money, a blue chipper, a potential lottery pick, and a 20-year-old prospect.

Something like that is a dear price to pay for the Oilers. Klefbom bouncing back to form while making just $4 million a season is a requirement for success. Yamamoto is obviously getting pencilled into their top six as early as next season. That pick could be worth a fortune at the draft, and Bear/Jones are their best AHL prospects right now.

If the Ottawa Senators end up trading Karsson, I wonder how many teams are capable of paying the price for him and being able to fit him under the cap. It’s not at all certain the Oilers are even capable of doing that, if they are even on the list of teams he would be willing to go to.

We are working with a lot of unknowns here. The one unknown favouring the Sens is that I don’t know what my limit would be to get this guy save for one player on the club. Is Karlsson available? Only Dorion and Chiarelli know for sure.

  • FlamesFanOtherCity

    Need to be a bit more serious in a trade for a premier player. His worth is in the Crosby/Ovi/Doubty range.
    A struggling D-man with potential, a small 1st rounder, a 1st round pick and an AHL player that isn’t even playing?

    • gshok

      I’m a die hard Oiler, and you are absolutely correct. Even suggesting that is comical, Oiler fans truly overvalue their players.
      I was thinking Draisaitl and Klefbom or Nuge and Nurse. This is the only way a deal has potential. I would do both deals in a heart beat.

  • Big Nuggets

    I guess that Duschene trade hasnt worked all that well for the Sens. Turris has had some big games with the Preds too.

    A two headed monster of Karlsson and McDavid is intrigueing. might have to make it a 3 team deal in which we offload Drai and whatever else, the third team gets Drai and the Sens get a boatload players, prospects and picks.

  • WillyWonka

    wait, did I miss something?
    Senators are 29th in the league, and are sellers
    Oilers are 28th in the league, and are…. buyers????
    and the list of spare parts you mentioned, lets get real, doesnt even start the conversation for one of the best defensemen in the league

  • Pizzy

    “I wonder if a deal for Erik Karlsson from the Oilers wouldn’t look more like Klefbom, Yamamoto, the Oiler first this season, and potentially a Jones or Bear thrown in as well”

    LOL, not even close to enough! Come on Hendy, you need to redeem yourself from the Russel Saga and this is not good.

  • TKB2677

    If Subban makes 9 mill and he signed that in 2014 and with the cap going up, how does Karlsson not get 11 or 12 mill? He’s at LEAST a 2+ mill more better dman than Subban. In saying that, it doesn’t matter if you have Lucic and Russell on your team, I don’t see how any team can have have 2 players making 12 mill or more. I don’t see how a team can afford it. Where ever Karlsson goes, he will be the big money player on that team.

  • ed from edmonton

    No team could afford McD and Karlson on the same payroll. With the cap expected to go to 80M or more and as a UFA with no home town discount in effect, Karlson will set the new standard for salaries.

  • Jordan88

    Just checked Karlsson’s stats. 18 points in 23 games, -16. He just came off surgery to repair tendons, he may not be 100% or he may not be the same player.

    Same thing happened to Ryan Whitney, went off with a ankle/foot injury and never returned to form and retired. Karlsson is on pace for 4-5 goals.

    Oilers make a massive trade and get him and he is never the same and Draisaitl and the 1st round turns into Dahlin = massive fleecing.

  • TKB2677

    McDavid makes 12.5 mill. He’s worth it but if you think about it, you could have 2 good top 6 players for the same price as what McDavid makes. When Karlsson signs for 11 or 12 mill or more. You could have 2 real top or 3 good top 4 dmen for that price. I would LOVE Karlsson on the Oilers but is Karlsson better than 3 guys? I don’t think so.

  • Jordan88

    Also stop with the McDavid / Karlsson contract comparisons.

    McDavid is having a SLOW year on bad team. with 35 points in 30 games. Karlsson is not a worth 11 million a year. He is more along the lines of Brent Burns value. who is on a 8×8 contract right now.

    • TKB2677

      Karlsson is coming off a major injury and his “down” year has him with 18 pts in 23 games. In a full season, that’s a 64 pt pace. Most teams are lucky to have a 45 pt dman. He’s got 2 norris trophies and when he doesn’t win it, he’s in the running. So you are dreaming if you think you can sign him for any less than 10 mill.

      Burns won is his norris in 2016 and signed a contract last year. He’s 32 years old and will be 33 in March. So when his contract is over, he will be 40. Karlsson is 27 and will be 28 in March. When he signed his new deal, he will be 29. 3 yrs in age is a BIG difference.

        • TKB2677

          You said he would get a Burns contract 8×8 which is laughable. Considering Subban in 2014 signed for 9 mill and the cap has gone up and will keep going up and Karlsson is a WAY better dman than Subban. If you got Karlsson for 10, that would be an insanely cheap deal and basically an act of god in my opinion. If the cap goes up to close to 80 mill like it is supposed too, when Karlsson’s deal comes on the books, it will be close to 82. So I bet his opening demand is 13+ mill. I would think that any team that signs Karlsson, their starting offer will be 8 yrs x 10 knowing they will probably settle in the 11-12 range

  • Roberto

    I brought up a similar trade proposal no more than 5 days ago, and was mocked accordingly. Kypreos and ELLIOT spew the same nonsense on TV and it’s a possibility.

  • VK63

    A lot of miles on young EK. A lot of hard miles and some nasty injuries.
    The likelihood of him sustaining his production numbers is the 10+ million dollar question.
    Proceed with extreme caution… or………. Glen Sather it.

  • crackerjack14

    Why not try this…Nuge and Klef for Karlsson and a pick. Then flip Karlsson and the pick to Nashville for Subban and (let’s say) Jarnkrok? $10 million comes off the books in Nuge and Klef. EDM gets their offensive dman for $9million rather than $10+, and Jarnkrok slides in to the 3C. If you make that trade now, the team could look like this:
    Lucic-McDavid-Puljujarvi
    Maroon-Draisaitl-Strome
    Caggiula-Jarnkrok-Cammalleri
    Khaira-Letestu-Kassian
    Nurse-Larsson
    Davidson-Subban
    Sekera-Russell
    I’d imagine Maroon would be gone at the deadline, so he could be replaced by Khaira, while someone on the farm could jump into Khaira’s spot on the 4th line.

  • gshok

    I’m a die hard Oiler, and you are absolutely correct. Even suggesting that is comical, Oiler fans truly overvalue their players.
    I was thinking Draisaitl and Klefbom or Nuge and Nurse. This is the only way a deal has potential. I would do both deals in a heart beat.