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.

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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.

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Email sent from: “Grant, Rob” [email protected] 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.

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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.

At Random: Selling It

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.

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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.

  • IslandOIL

    PC gets fleeced in every trade. How would we get Karlsson without PC ransoming the short and long term future of this franchise? Does anyone have faith in him to realistically pull this off without overpaying?

    • I am Batman

      I agree w islandoil, this idiot might be thinking about trading Connor. We are better off not even thinking about it.

      I’d like to see a blog about the more realistic rumour: what are the Oilers thinking of giving away to get Mzarek or Hutchinson?
      I think that trade does happen before 2018.

  • Dwayne Roloson 35

    Dew it!

    I’d be willing to give up Draisaitl for Karlsson. Nuge can be the 2nd line Center. Center depth is nice right now but Drai plays anywhere from 14-19 min a night. I’d rather have 25+ minutes of Karlsson than 14-19min of Draisaitl.

    Then we can figure out the 3rd line center eventually.

  • oil.99.97.11

    If the Oilers have ANY chance to sign Karlsson, you find a way to do it!! With at least average goaltending, there is no way in hell that a team with McDavid and Karlsson don’t win a Stanley Cup, or two, or three…

  • Beer_League_Ringer

    Karlsson… Makes 6.5mil this year and next. The Sens are in no rush to trade their best player while they can still afford him. The bidding war will start this summer. Also, sorry to be a downer, but Edmonton would DEFINITELY be on Karlsson’s no-trade-list. Be patient with our D-core and prospects. We have guys that range from 20-24years old, all developing nicely. This is how teams are successful long-term. Emptying the cupboards (e.g. Yamo, JP, Bear, Jones, Nurse, Klef, Drai, etc) for a dude, albeit a superdude, that is going to need McDavid money in 1.5 years is not viable. For example, Nurse is turning into the player we were all hoping to have when he was drafted. Who knows how good Yamo, Bear, Jones, Benson, Jesse P will be in 3 years. Patience.

    • CMG30

      Ordinarily I would agree with you, however, Picking up a D man who’s top 5 in the league should happen if possible. Highly unlikely that any of our prospects will one day have equal value. Patients is also off the table. McDavid puts everything on the clock.

  • 40 Year Re-build

    So weird how contracts in sports work. If you think about it, so many players make their big money in their least productive years. Karlsson should be earning 11 million right now, since this is when he is at his best. But he will sign a massive contract worth almost twice what he makes now to play worse. It’s just basic biology. Players get worse as they age past 27. Let’s pass on Erik. Unreal talent, but wherever he goes, he will be overpaid. Oilers just don’t need any more of that.

  • I am Batman

    There’s no chance Karlsson has Edmonton in his list.
    McDavid and all we are still 28-29 in the league, the gm has a terrible track record (as to dream he is gonna build a winning team) and out of all the NHL cities, why Edmonton?
    Fringe fest?

    • HardBoiledOil 1.0

      we know some rival fans are not crazy about the city of Edmonton and although it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, like places like Ottawa, Calgary, Winnipeg, etc., if Karlsson wants to have a *chance to win* in the near future, then he should very much consider the Oilers.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Not saying Nuge is all world, but if Karlsson is available, I make 93 the center piece in that trade. Nuge is more financially viable than Drai to the Sens. Would Nuge, Benning, Bear and 2019 1st(if Karlsson resigns) make sense for Ottawa? Not trying to make an NHL18 trade but it sure sounds like Melnyk doesn’t like to spend to the cap and needs decent to really good players back in return for Karlsson.

  • Jordan88

    It would take Draisaitl this years 1st and probably a prospect to land Karlsson that’s his trade value. He is a perennial Norris Candidate and probably top 5 player in the NHL.

  • jultz=2cups!??

    You guys are crazy if you don’t think the sens wouldn’t be asking for nurse before klefbom. The price would most likely be 2 nhlers, a prospect and picks for sure. This is Erik karlsson. Possibly the best dman in the league.

  • Every team wants a Karlsson, although I can see why Ottawa is looking to trade. Sens may have good reason to move on from him, just like the Habs, should have moved on from Price. The return on a block buster deal like that would be enormous.

    I believe the future of a winning team is players earning $4-$7 M per year, but more of them compared to the Oilers model, two guys making $21 M. If McDavid gets injured, there goes your season.

  • OilCan2

    Do the math,…. even with MEGA Katz $$$$ the glass ceiling is the cap. We can only hope Calgary sells the farm for him; ooops they already did for Hamonic.