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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

The Latest from Laing


      • Daryl Katz

        the ask would be AT LEAST Bouchard, a young roster d-man like Nurse or Klefbom, and a young forward in Yam or Jesse. and that’s the starting point for a still in his prime impact player that could take this team to a cup win. having said that, he’s not likely going to want to come here.

    • Craig1981

      I think you took to much heat for this. I don’t know if the Sens will get much more than a 1st, Klefbom and Puljujarvi from anyone. That is a huge package. Lucic would be interesting….but people thinking you can’t move a NTC need to look at just how many NTC have been moved and to who.

  • 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

    • 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………

    • 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.

    • 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

  • 99bestever

    What ever it takes except the Oilers core of McDavid, Draisaitl, Nurse, Larson and Talbot. To win a trade you have to get the best player and if the Oilers trade for Karlsson they will win the trade and the Stanley Cup this year or next. Look what happened when they brought in Pronger. He took a mediocre team to the 7th game of the Stanley Cup final!

  • 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.

  • Opi

    Not happening … the allure of playing with McDavid is greatly exaggerated in these parts & the hapless ways of the Oil are what players view most important when placing the Oilers on the league’s least desired bottom three … then look at this & tell me why Karlsson would want to come here … ?

    Tambi was actually one of their better Oiler G.M.’s of late … have a boo for yourself … he G.M.’d a hapless Oiler team that had a better Pts % than the 2017-18 version of the hapless Oilers … K-Lowe & Mac-T were better one season … speaks volumes that …

    2006-07′ … .433 Pts % … Mac-T … K-Lowe … Rank Sixth worst
    2007-08′ … .537 Pts % … Mac-T … K-Lowe … Rank Eleventh worst
    2008-09′ … .518 Pts % … Mac-T … Tambi … Rank Tenth worst
    2009-10′ … .378 Pts % … Quinn … Tambi … Rank 1st, 2nd, 3rd worst
    2010-11′ … .378 Pts % … Renney … Tambi … Rank 1st, 2nd, 3rd worst
    2011-12′ … .451 Pts % … Renney … Tambi … Rank Seventh worst
    2012-13′ … .469 Pts % … Krueger … Tambi … Rank Eighth worst
    2013-14′ … .409 Pts % … Eakins … Mac-T … Rank Fourth worst
    2014-15′ … .378 Pts % … Eakins/Nelson … Mac-T … Rank 1st, 2nd, 3rd worst
    2015-16′ … .427 Pts % … McLellan … Chiarelli … Rank Fifth worst
    2016-17′ … .628 Pts % … McLellan … Chiarelli … Rank Twelfth worst
    2017-18′ … .476 Pts % … McLellan … Chiarelli … Rank Ninth worst

    • Kaplan

      The “hapless ways of the Oil are what players view most important…” Whatever dude. You realize EK is trying to get out from under the worst ownership in the NHL, and a team that is almost universally loathed in Ottawa and seen as an utter joke across the league.

      Seriously, apart from the losing streak, players do not look at the Oilers with any sort of lens. Edmonton is known as a team that treats its players VERY well, and the OEG’s strategy of wining and dining even visiting teams (have you seen the visitors’ dressing room? Every bit as nice as the home team!) is designed to lure free agents.

  • 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.

  • 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.

      • 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!

        • 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.

  • OriginalSixMachine

    Why not just Draisaitl? They’re gonna lose Matt Douchene so they’ll need a centerman I’m not happy about losing Dr Drai but I mean he’d be they’re franchise Center over there..I don’t think there’s another team that could offer a better deal some teams don’t even have ONE franchise centerman and we have two..the cap would only be what 8.5<11? That’s not much that is a fair trade IMO Drai is just a pup compared to Karlsson I don’t like the idea long term but cmon McDangles and Karlsson on the PP? Get the funk outta here, that’d be sick! There would have to be other moving parts I would think but Chiarelli..lol he loves his one for ones! I wouldn’t want to part with any of our young ones like YammaTime or others on ELC find a way I say!

      • OriginalSixMachine

        He’s gonna sign for the same as Doughty 8×11 the difference between that and Drai’s Is 2.5 plus we will actually be saving on the cap this year cuz he only makes 6.5

    • Messier11

      As much as an egg as he dropped last year, I wouldn’t trade Drai. Think back to the playoff run and how Drai dominated against Anaheim while McDavid was shut down. We need his size and frankly the 1-2 punch of two top centres. Think about Calgary’s depth with their signings this summer. We would not fare well. Maybe we could consider Nuge (but don’t want to send him either, TBH).

      In a dreamworld, I would send Sekera, Klefbom (I think Nurse has more upside than Klefbom whose accuracy is crap), Yamamoto, and a 1st rd pick. If I had to, I would consider Lucic, but I think Lucic has something to prove this year.

  • OriginalSixMachine

    Then maybe dump Sekera attached with some picks to the yotes cuz they’re good for helping teams out like that..poor Reg I really feel for the dude

  • Oil9744

    I’m a huge Draisaital fan but don’t freakn tell me you wouldn’t trade him for Erik Karlsson get real, If Karlsson signed a max extension in Edmonton I would do that trade all day, plus you would still have Nuge as your 2nd line centre and anyone can put up points with Mcdavid. Ty Rattie even said last season that his dad could put up points with Connor, so landing the best defencemen in the world for Draisaital would be a great trade.

  • 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.

  • FISTO Siltanen

    This would be so us:

    Oilers trade for Karlsson using extra cap space to land him.

    News breaks Sekeras injury is less serious than originally thought. Will miss first week of training camp.

  • socaldave

    For everyone who’s actually putting in some effort in making this a thing? Stop. Back away from the keyboard. Put down the phone. $30 million committed to only three players? Uhhhh, no. That’s not a thing that can in any way EVER work.

  • 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.

  • Dallas Eakins Hair

    Edmonton would have to be out of their minds to make a deal for Karlsson, the Oil dont have the cap space and the ask is way more than the Oil would want to give up, Ottawa can ask all they want, but getting what they want is a different story. Unless some team is desperate to make a splash, I dont see any team giving Ottawa what they are asking atm. Why pay that high price when teams could sit back and wait and see what Ottawa will do, if they want Karlsson gone before the season, they have to act quick , otherwise Karlsson is their for a while until Ottawa comes down a bit or the clock starts to run out and they are forced to deal him, no way will Ottawa let him walk, they will trade him before they let that occur

  • CMG30

    To land a whopper like Karlsson, some pretty big names suddenly become available. Anyone not named Mcdavid could conceivably be moved. Chirelli should be on the horn 3x per day to Ottawa to try and get a deal done. With Karlsson on the roster this instantly becomes a playoff team…

  • OnDaWagon

    Dorian, who i don’t have a lot of faith in, wants the world for Karlsson. He’d best be careful. Snow didn’t move Tavares, and look what they got. The only way Door-head is going to get good value for Karlsson, is, if he finds a team that wants him, and Karlsson wants to go there. Remember Karlsson can go wherever he wants at the end of 2018-19 season. He’s FREE, and no compensation for Ottawa.

    I also read somewhere that Karlsson would like to go somewhere for just this ONE year, to see if he likes it there. That’s a hugh negative for Dorian to deal with. Any GM that doesn’t see this as Dorian’s hands partially tied, is not thinking straight.

    Just my opinion

    I don;t think he’s going to get anywhere near what he thinks he’s going to get.

    The longer

  • 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

  • Natejax97

    Think about this as an extended rental for this year only…look at what teams get for players at the deadline and think about 60 extra games. What would you be willing to pay for 1 year of Karlsson…cuz that’s all your getting but it makes you a contender to win the cup.

    You will never be able to afford the next contract without dismantling the team.

    So what would you rent Karlsson for?

  • Carbonrod

    Just fantasy talk, because we don’t have the assets to make it happen or the cap space to keep him. As a rental player he’s not worth as much as people think, and getting the space to sign him would be hard. It would be nice to have a 65 point d-man for once.

    I have a feeling whomever trades for. Karlsson is going to pay too much. Karlsson is worth a lot, but for one year of a player, you just can’t give too much up.

  • OilCan2

    Not a chance. Mathematically very risky and I think Karlsson has peaked; albeit higher than almost every other defenceman. We already have long term decliners in Sekera & Lucic. The future has to be built with youth around McDavid & Draisaitl. Speaking of RHD Bouchard is going to raise a few eyebrows and I like his birthday a lot more.