A few weeks ago, things in link with Ottawa Senators captain Erik Karlsson and a potential trade went from dead quiet to some freaking loud in a matter of seconds when the Vancouver Canucks were said to be joining the sweepstakes for the all-star defenseman. However, while Canucks general manager Jim Benning denied the rumors, it seems that it pushed The Fourth Period to do more digging on who is gunning for Karlsson, and there now seems to be another suitor coming into play.
According to The Fourth Period, the New York Islanders are not only looking to acquire Columbus Blue Jackets sniper Artemi Panarin, who is reportedly not looking to remain with the team. It has also been reported that the Isles are interested in Karlsson, and would even accept to take on winger Bobby Ryan's hefty contract.
"In addition to Panarin, the Islanders have also shown interest in Ottawa Senators star defenceman Erik Karlsson and winger Bobby Ryan, among others," you can read on The Fourth Period's website.
It is well known that the Senators are looking to unload unload Ryan’s contract ($7.25-million annually through 2021-22) in the transaction. 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.
As for Panarin, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Florida Panthers have shown some interest in the young Russian forward.
The Islanders and new general Lou Lamoriello appear to have no fear in lining up these potential monster moves. Lamoreillo has always been quiet about his plans and possible trades, but we all know he is not afraid of a blockbuster move.
With more than $29 million available for potential moves, the Islanders have the cap space to absorb Karlsson’s $6.5-million salary-cap hit and enough to re-sign him to a lucrative contract extension. The Senators offered Karlsson an eight-year extension that sources say was north of $80 million over its lifetime, but the offer was not accepted. He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019 if he doesn’t have a contract extension in place.
It was once believed that the Stars, Sharks and Knights were among the frontrunners in the Karlsson sweepstakes, however, Lamoriello and the Islanders could change it all with their all-in attitude.