It’s a long shot, I know.
But I can’t stop thinking about Erik Karlsson being in an Edmonton Oilers jersey.
When it was reported the other day that clubs were starting to circle back on Karlsson as the season approached, the hairs on the back of my neck started to stand.
It was erroneously reported yesterday that Karlsson wouldn’t want to re-sign in a Canadian city, something that had initially shot down my aspirations of writing this article examining a potential Oilers-Senators deal.
However, an early morning tweet by bearded man and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman shows otherwise.
Erik Karlsson reached out to say: it is not accurate that he is unwilling to sign long-term with a Canadian team.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 24, 2018
Realistically, can the Edmonton Oilers make this work?
First of all, the Oilers would need to ensure Karlsson’s interest in signing with the team as his contract expires at seasons end.
Paying the cost of what Ottawa is asking, which is reportedly four assets, to have Karlsson walk as a free agent after only one season is unacceptable for a team looking to return to the playoffs.
The assets the Senators appear to be asking for are believed to be significant ones that include a first-round pick, a player who can help the club immediately, and a high-end prospect.
When we sit and look at the Edmonton Oilers roster, it becomes apparent the team has some cap-finessing to do in the next few years with, or without Karlsson on the team’s payroll.
The team will have less than $17-million in cap space after accounting for Darnell Nurse’s next deal after this season.
Players like Jesse Pulujuarvi, Cam Talbot and Tobias Rieder are among those needing new deals.
Darnell Nurse is a player that the Oilers would likely be able to part with if Karlsson was coming back the other way and a player the Senators could plug-and-play with ease.
Kailer Yamamoto is likely the Oilers most movable prospect if it came to. While not superstar quality, he is about as sure fire as can be when it comes to prospects on this team.
The Oilers have prospects like Tyler Benson, Kirill Maksimov, and Ostap Safin who seem to be NHL-quality prospects at some point.
The team’s first round pick can be moved this year, showing Oilers players that the team would be serious about not only making the playoffs, but making a deep push.
In terms of a fourth-asset, the Oilers have options whether it be moving a vet with a bigger deal, or another young prospect/roster player. With a need to move cap space, the team would likely need to look at moving Andrej Sekera’s $5.5-million cap hit, Kris Russell’s $4-million, or Milan Lucic’s $6-million.
Would the Senators, who will have $40-million in cap space next offseason, be interested in grabbing any of those vets?
The one thing we do know, is that Karlsson will be coming with a hefty price tag not only in a trade, but in signing his new deal which will surely be worth at least $10-million.
There has been some speculation that the ask is more than they will receive which could be the case. None the less, the Oilers have assets that I think could at the least peak the interest of the Senators organization.
Is the lure of playing on a team with Connor McDavid enough to have Karlsson consider signing long-term? Maybe it would be Swede for him to play alongside fellow countrymen Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson.
There is nothing that I love more than chaos in the NHL world, and I think that’s going to be exactly what happens when Karlsson gets dealt.
Given the apparent ask, what would you be willing to move for Erik Karlsson?
Find me on Twitter: @zjlaing
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