Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion was pretty clear at the trade deadline back at the end of February. He said the offers made for his captain Erik Karlsson were ridiculous. In the last hour of the deadline, it was reported that the Vegas Golden Knights almost made a huge splash as they went for the offensively-gifted defenseman.
NHL insider Bob McKenzie had mentioned prior to the deadline that the Sens would try to rid themselves of Bobby Ryan's contract and it became a huge hurdle in negotiations. We can understand, since it's not a small deal for the often injured forward. Ryan will cost $7.25 million on the cap through 2022. However, Vegas had plenty of financial flexibility heading into this year's deadline, which is why they were able to absorb some of Derrick Brassard's salary in his trade to the Penguins, as well as take on the contract of Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings.
And Dorion specified that he didn't shop Karlsson, he simply listened. Now, it's time for things to get much more clearer: Kalrsson and Ryan might still be with the Ottawa Senators, but the latter admitted Monday both he and Karlsson believed they had been dealt to a Western Conference team the day before the Feb. 26 deadline.
“I heard on Sunday it was done and somebody backed out at the last second,” Ryan told the Ottawa Sun. “Karl and I were like, ‘pack it up.’ We thought we were gone. That’s just the way it goes. Then you’re like, I’ve got to move again?
“I guess I’ll just wait and see how it goes in the summer. That’s all you can do.”
Karlsson, who can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season, can start talks on a contract extension only on July 1. The captain's future in Ottawa remains unsure and Ryan's too, despite the fact that he's under contract through 2021-22 at a $7.25 million cap hit. Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun writes Ryan could be bought out by the Senators if he's not moved elsewhere over the summer.
“I understand with my contract and the obligations that I haven’t performed up to a $7-million player,” he said.
“But that’s something that happens. That’s the business side of things. I try to separate it when I get to the rink. I don’t worry about what’s going on over there, in the other hallway. I just worry about what’s in front of me. That’s all you can do.”
At least, Ryan has a good attitude about it - and this, despite the fact that he only recorded eight goals and 27 points in 48 games this season.
“Generally you don’t talk to anybody within the organization about it, because… I don’t want to say you’re crossing the line by asking, but you know it’s out of your hands,” Ryan said. “Other than you going in and solidifying yourself with them by saying ‘I don’t want to be here’ it’s not going to do anybody any good. The GM has that right to listen to every team and every option available. So I think in the room guys generally understand that, and they don’t take it personally, as you get older.
“Me, in particular, I reached out to my agent and said hey listen, I’m sure you’re aware of what’s going on here, and I’m hearing it, and if I’m hearing it, you are. So he told me on Friday (before the deadline) that (being traded) was a very real possibility. And that was the most communication I had. Then it was just kind of sitting. I caught myself looking at stuff online, things like that, Twitter and whatnot, trying to figure out if anybody knew anything. Most of the time it’s just guys speculating. So I tried not to get wrapped up in it.”
Senators fans surely are though...