The Ottawa Senators have been playing a waiting game with Erik Karlsson, however, it seems like the wait might be almost over seeing that new developments occurred in the saga yesterday. This summer, the Senators had offered Karlsson an eight-year extension that sources say was north of $80 million over its lifetime. He will make $6.5 million this season and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019 if he doesn’t have a contract extension in place.
On Wednesday, NHL and Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reported that a new surprise suitor has jumped on board the Karlsson sweepstakes and trade chatter has immediately picked up since.
"There is a sense today that Erik Karlsson trade talks have picked up in the last few days. Most likely destinations appear to be Western Conference. There is also a belief VAN has stepped in to see if it is a match."
While Canucks general manager Jim Benning completely denied what Friedman had reported, later on the same day during a conversation with Sportsnet’s John Shannon, there is still some belief that Vancouver might have been doing its due-diligence, as Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre pointed out.
After the comments from Benning, it seems that sources close to Karlsson wanted to put their foot down as well. On Thursday, Andy Strickland of FOX Sports reported that Karlsson does not want to sign an extension with a Canadian team.
It makes things quite clear for what Canucks fans should expect... 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. Friedman added that he thinks the Stars, Sharks and Knights remain among the frontrunners in the Karlsson sweepstakes. It appears that those are the destinations preferred by Karlsson, who might not be looking to stay in Canada at all.
Karlsson's comments willingly reassure the fan base in Vancouver, who got scared when Canucks team insider Jeff Paterson noted that it was believed that the trade negotiations would surely start with Quinn Hughes and 2019 first pick that could be Jack Hughes.
If Karlsson does not want to come to Vancouver, the Canucks will be more than happy to hold on to these great young players.
Photo Credit: Zuma Press