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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.

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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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  • Spydyr

    The Karlsson from five years ago, yes please. The Karlsson of today and the next seven years is not worth the price you have to pay. Not only to acquire him but then to sign him. Besides in a four or so years from now I believe Bouchard will be the superior player.

    • Bills Bills

      Bouchard can not skate like Karlsson. Not sure there has been a superior defenceman to Karlsson since Ray Bourque retired. But yes as he ages, we will see how he handles the decline. Something tells me he will still be very effective, just not worth $11 million a year.

  • McNugent

    We would legitimately have 2 Hart candidates on our team.

    The duo of Karlsson and Larsson would be epic for the next 8 years.

    Trade either of Nurse or Klefbom.

    2019 1st, 2020 2nd.

    Of of Lucic, Russell or Sekera.(whichever Sens are willing to take).

    I couldnt even imagine a pp with Karlsson, McDavid and Draisaitl on it.

    Please please please…. x million

    • The Whispererer

      Do you know that Karlsson and Larsson are both RHD ? How does acquiring a RHD make an LHD expendable ? Trade Nurse or Klefbom? Then the LHD depth chart is one of Nurse or Klefbom, Russell, and ?????

      None of Lucic, Russell or Sekera would waive their NMC to play in the hot mess that is Ottawa.

      Karlsson will not sign an extension in Edmonton for less than Doughty got in LA. So 8 x $11.
      As it is, the Oilers already have a bit over $62 million committed to 13 players in 19/20. Do the math.

        • The Whispererer

          Ummm…$62 for 13 players + $11 for Karlsson = $73 for 14 players; 23 players on a roster means 9 players still to sign for $6.5 plus whatever cap increase there might be next year.

          • McNugent

            Including the cap increase and the removal of one of the salaries mentioned, we should be sitting at 12 million or so to sign 9 players.

            With the core of McDavid, Drai, Nuge, Karlsson, Larsson, Klefbom signed long term. With Bouchard coming in on an ELC, this team will be absolutely incredible. Fill in the rest of the roster with PTOs and players like Marody, Benson, Etc.

      • 99bestever

        The Oilers are loaded with LD’s. look st all the recent signings. 6th position LD’s. Russell can handle 2 LD till Sekera comes back, or until one or two of the farm team or UFA signings prove they can play the position. The challenge is the same as all trades – you have to give someone up + a bit more to get a better someone. You win the trade because you got the best someone. EK + Nurse or Klefbom can play close to 30 minutes a night the rest can fill in the remaining time the best they can. I know it will work. It has on other teams – why not with the Oilers? Chia – get it done!

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I’m reluctant to trade Nurse because he is gritty as hell and the only other dman that plays that way is Larsson. Honestly I would gladly offer Klefbom, this years 1st, next years 2nd and 3rd if EK resigns, Lagesson, and Benson.

    Are that’s an overpay for a maybe resigning but I only over pay if EK re-ups, besides the 2nd and 3rd probably don’t see the NHL for almost 5 years after getting drafted. Plus I’m not stealing too much from the current lineup or the future lineup if in fact Lagesson and Benson are NHL worthy.

    Oilers need to start making the playoffs yearly let alone being a contender.

    Side note, Talbot didn’t really want to resign here til he played half a season too don’t forget.

    Oilers have a good team, EK would put them up with Tampa and a few other contenders.

    Next summer is when you can off load Sekera and Russell to make room for the 11mil EK will want.

  • Gravis82

    would move nurse and prospects in a heartbeat. Nurse is great, but I honestly don’t think his ceiling is a #1 D man. #1 dmen can be found outside the top 5, it just takes a while for them to arrive.

    • 99bestever

      Yeah like Bouchard is five years away from being a star and that is a stretch at this point. We need someone like Karlsson now – plug and play! I’d rather keep Nurse than Klefbom but if Nurse won’t sign he will have to go.

  • Cowbell_Feva

    Heaven and Earth
    Thats what I would move. Basically anybody but 97 and 29.
    But I don’t know if you could build a winning team with 3 players making $30+ million dollars….dare to dream

    • Oilerz4life

      Drai for Karlsson in a heartbeat. Sorry, but Karlsson is a WAY more valuable asset than Drai. McD with Karlsson on the backend would be the most formidable D to Forward combination in the league. It would give opposing teams nightmares and immediately move the Oilers into cup contender status. Will never happen, but it would improve the Oilers the same way landing Pronger did in ’06.

      • 9 Fingers

        I have to agree, it hurts to do but it costs a lot for a Karlsson. $8.5 for $11 million makes it easier to cap and we still have a natural center in Nuge. I would expect that Ottawa will still want a prospect and a pick. Yamamoto and a pick with Drai….. that’s a lot but right handed stud d men who have put up those kind of points cost. I am in if there is a fleeting chance of this crazy thought.

    • Craig1981

      Black Hawks have done it…..Pens have done it. Washington wasn’t at $30, but not they had 3 highly paid players.

      I can’t help but wonder if Taylor Hall and Brazel would of gotten this deal done………

    • Rebuild3.0

      im saying you should get back together with ‘the news’ and get back to making music and spend less time complaining about august articles on a free website

  • Karlsson is not moving to Oil country anytime soon. My guess is San Jose.
    He retracted his statement to keep as many bidders in the game as possible.

    Also, moving the Ryan contract worth $7.5 M is probably the fourth asset Ottawa is looking for.

  • 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.

  • Simba99

    Don’t care if he scores a 100 point he’s closer to retirement he ain’t worth 10 million and some stupid gm will pay it people in Edmonton forget what we paying lucic and sekara same age and look where those contracts got us. It’s about youth keep what ya got Pete