It's a good thing must of us did not hold our breaths when the Erik Karlsson trade chatter began, and pundits expected him to be on the move shortly. So much has happened since, however, a lot of it remains the same. The Ottawa Senators appear set to getting rid of winger Bobby Ryan’s contract ($7.25-million annually through 2021-22) in a potential transaction for the all-star blue liner.
At the trade deadline, it was said that the Golden Knights were minutes away from completing a deal with Ottawa for Karlsson. They have the cap space to absorb Karlsson’s $6.5-million salary-cap hit and enough to re-sign him, but the issue remained the same: the Senators keep looking to unload Ryan’s contract in the deal.
When last of the trade chatter was heard on Karlsson, it was believed five to six teams, including the Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks, remain interested in Karlsson. Before there is so much competition on the market to land the services of Karlsson, Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun believes GM Pierre Dorion might add another Senators player into the mix... which could make things even more complicated than they already are.
Warren wonders what the future holds for 36-year-old winger Marian Gaborik. If he’s healthy, Warren believes the Senators could buy out his contract or perhaps explore a trade, perhaps by trying to include him in a Karlsson deal. However, unless there has been a change in the CBA regarding contract buyouts and players coming off injury, the Sens will have to wait until next June at the earliest to buy Gaborik's contract.
Therefore, the Sens could attempt to move his contract in a Karlsson deal.
"Alternatively, general manager Pierre Dorion could test the trade market, perhaps including Gaborik as part of a Karlsson package as owner Eugene Melnyk looks to shed payroll."
In the meantime, no one knows what the Sens captain is thinking about with just two weeks ahead of training camp. It has been reported that Karlsson politely declined an interview request from Postmedia following an informal skate Tuesday with a few teammates and other Ottawa-based professionals, saying he would talk once training camp opened Sept. 13.
The waiting game continues...