Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Karlsson to Edmonton: So you’re telling me there’s a chance?

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.

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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.

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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.

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Players like Jesse Pulujuarvi, Cam Talbot and Tobias Rieder are among those needing new deals.

The Players

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.

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Would the Senators, who will have $40-million in cap space next offseason, be interested in grabbing any of those vets?

Who knows.

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.

Holland Takes Right Approach in Free Agency

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

The Latest from Laing

  • Reg Dunlop

    Nothing drove site visits and comments like Weber trade speculation. Karlsson is the new Shea Weber. Expect multiple articles about him until training camp opens and there is actual news to discuss.

  • ricardo2000

    This would be a moronic trade, even if the Oilers sign an extension with Karlsson. It makes me realize that most people can’t even remember last week, let alone think constructively about what happened last week. Does anyone here remember that Vegas was a legitimate Stanley Cup finalist, because they played a team game with only one tobogganing superstar (Fleury)? Those players have cashed in and moved on, never to have a comparable season.

    How many times, how many ways do so-called pundits have to see a ‘superstar’ get everything he wants only to see him turn into a gentleman of leisure? Then wake up, when he’s traded away, to realize he isn’t the sun, the moon, the stars.

    This isn’t a superstar league, or a game based on superstars. It is, and has always been, a TEAM GAME. The Great One earned his reputation because he made other players look great 1800 times by passing them the puck, not because he did it all himself. So the Oilers need to improve by focussing on the heart of the game: passing. They don’t need one great passer; they need improved team passing skills. They don’t need one great defenceman: they need great team defence. These skills can be learned, they can be coached.

    So the real questions are: can the Oilers coaches turn this team into a playoff contender?
    Can they coach the Oil to a respectable team defence and passing game?
    The coaches don’t get to make excuses. They have to go if they can’t coach this crowd of superior talent into at least the second round.

    • Tireshop

      You’re so stupid.
      Washington just won the Stanley Cup with a SuperStar and a 1st pairing D also named Carlson.
      They didn’t rely on potential.
      The D was good enough to support the 3rd and 4th line.
      This is hockey. You can’t make comparison like “Vegas” to predict the future. Beside it just wasn’t Fluery. That team had great chemistry all around. Fluery had a great year but Fluery wasn’t “ potential” Fluery is an establish NHL Cup Champion. Don’t forget Vegas was a team built out of top 6 players. They didnt have to draft kids or develop them.

      Passing is a skill dummy
      How do you increase the team passing skill? By bringing in players that can pass. Man are you dumb.
      Skills can be learned? Maybe you should start playing hockey so you can be like McDavid. Since skills can be so easily learned.
      News flashes. Some people are better than others.

  • russ99a

    It’s an interesting idea but there are a few problems:

    1. No idea if Karlsson would sign here, which needs to be agree on before a trade

    2. Nurse shouldn’t be moved. If we have to send a defenseman, it would be Klefbom for cap reasons. That goes double for Draisaitl which is who they’d ask for.

    3. All three big contracts have NMCs and are highly doubtful to accept a trade to Ottawa with their rebuilding and iffy management and horrid owner. Sekera’s hurt so we can’t move him. Even if they accept, we’d need to take an equally awful contract and an unknown fit on the roster and in the room.

    4. Other teams can send better prospects and vets that we can.

    Maybe if we can do something like Nuge, Klefbom, a few lesser prospects and a conditional pick or two for Karlsson and a scoring winger

      • russ99a

        Still 4.5M, add that to Nuge’s six and there’s the 10 to sign Karlsson. Don’t see a way otherwise, nobody’s taking our bad contracts without one in return and then Karlsson can’t fit. Probably better to pass. I’d young players improve (not a given) then we can move salary a year from now for an impact player.

  • Soccer Steve

    I think that the ON staff were bored, hanging out, and posted this article as their own drinking game from our comments:

    -Hall/Barzal comment: drink
    -people who do not know Lucic commenting on him like they are his agent: drink
    -quip about adding Omark to the Karlsson package: drink
    -Eberle hate: drink
    -Eberle love: drink
    -‘Karlsson isn’t good anymore’: drink

    I’m sure there are more but this would’ve got them good and drunk. I cannot see any other reason for posting this article…

    • Edmontoncanucks

      Funny that you say that..playing franchise mode nhl 18..on pro..trades hard. 2 first round picks Yamamoto, Klefbom and Khaira did NOT get it done. Nothing i was willing to trade would get it done. We are talking Chia here though so who knows..my take on it is in cap hell already..why put yourself in a 2yr must win or cap kills us mode.


    Yes he is a world class Dman, but realistically he is 28, has had many horrible injuries so I’m not sure I’d wann give so much for him. I mean I’d probably give next year’s first, Nurse and a prospect and thats about it.

  • Bills Bills

    I think it is a fair comment that a sign and trade is not going to happen. If Karlsson wants top dollar, he is likely going to become a UFA and see what that value is and ultimately decide exactly where he wants to play.

  • Rusty

    This is fun to speculate and i thin the oilers should at least inquire and put in a n offer, however, i think the writing is on the wall to where hes going next season. Its Vegas. WHo knows if he could sign long term but its not realistic to think that anyone could beat a vegas offer if they really wanted him.

    IMO the Rangers, Sharks, Boston, Anahiem, Chicago, Tampa, Nashville and Pittsburgh always seem to be the places that are capable of making these types of deals. Tampa is where i think he will end up long term when all is said and done.

  • anduril

    Don’t see why Ottawa would bite with those assets. I think you’ve got to go bigger. How about Leon Draisaitl, one of Bouchard/Klefbom, and a Pick for a signed Karlsson and one of Stone/Duchene? If they need a 4th asset, throw in something like Gambardella or Bear or something like that. The pick should be conditional on Stone/Duchene resigning with Edmonton. Both are UFA at the end of current season. The Senators get an elite, young centre to be the new face of their franchise and cost certainty while Edmonton creates the necessary cap space to bring in Karlsson on 6-8 year deal while still still picking up a forward to maintain balance on the team. If they bring in Duchene, he’s their second line centre. If they bring in Stone, RNH is the second line centre and Stone plays with McDavid. Stone signed a one-year deal so it seems to me he has no intention of staying in Ottawa and has basically given Dorion a year to trade him. The Oilers will have the off-season to dump salary before the new contracts for Karlsson and Stone/Duchene take effect. Otherwise, I wait for the trade deadline and acquire any one of those three players for a helluva lot cheaper as a rental when and if the Oilers are in a playoff position.