Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion has reportedly not given up on the current season. The Sens currently sit 14 points out of the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern conference, and are almost dead last in the league, just above the Buffalo Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes.
Dorion informed The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch on Thursday that his team is still in the running for a spot in the postseason.
"Addressing the media before Thursday’s home game against the St. Louis Blues, the Ottawa Senators general manager said he knew the odds were long, but he still wasn’t ready to throw in the towel on the National Hockey League playoffs," writes Garrioch.
But now it seems that Dorion might have given up the idea to keep star defenseman and captain Erik Karlsson as an untouchable. On Friday, Chris Stevenson of NHL.com revealed that the Sens have not ruled out the possibility of trading the star blue liner.
"Our first priority with Erik is to sign him. He's a special player, but Wayne Gretzky got traded, so, if a team offers you an offer you can't turn down, you listen. But our first priority is to sign Erik Karlsson and [for] Erik Karlsson to be a Senator for life."
Sure, priories are one thing and needs are another. There have been plenty of phone calls from interested teams to investigate about forwards Mike Hoffman, Zack Smith and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, but only a few teams have called about defenseman Cody Ceci.
Will there now be plenty of phone calls about Karlsson - and - will Dorion entertain them?
Karlsson commented on the trade chatter, and almost made it sound like he was on his way out of Ottawa.
"When I go to market, I'm going to get what I'm worth, and it's going to be no less, no matter where I'm going," Karlsson said. "That's the business part of it. That's the way every player has been treated ever since this league has started, and I think the players have been a little bit on the other side of things when it comes to negotiations. I think it's time to realize that when we go to the table, it's business on both parts, not just [owners]."
Dorion is clearly keeping all of his option open.
"We have to be patient and no rash decisions will be made," Dorion added. "We have to be realistic and understand our situation. If we don't make the playoffs, we have to start planning for the future, and that might be to take one step backwards to take two steps forwards."
And what if another team makes him an offer he can't refuse on Karlsson?