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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


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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…

  • OILERSORDEATH

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.