Fans across the National Hockey League had been waiting a while for the Erik Karlsson trade chatter to pick back up after it had gone quiet for the past few weeks. Then on Wednesday, NHL and Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman came out with a breaking news report 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 it might first sound interesting for the Vancouver Canucks to land a star defenseman like Karlsson, fans and pundits were quick to note that the deal would be a monster one, and would include several beloved young players from the BC team. According to a Canucks team insider Jeff Paterson, it is believed that the trade negotiations would surely start with Quinn Hughes and 2019 first pick that could be Jack Hughes.
It became so out of hand that it seems that Canucks general manager Jim Benning felt the need to comment the rumour. However, he did more than just comment - the guy completely denied what Friedman had reported, later on the same day during a conversation with Sportsnet’s John Shannon.
It seems that the Canucks might have been doing their due-diligence, as Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre pointed out, as Benning would never agree to part with his promising young players and high drafts picks. Friedman agreed with his statement, making sense of Benning's shocking reaction.
“The one thing I would say about Vancouver is they were in on P.K. Subban and they had a chance to get that one done until they knew they weren’t getting [Pierre-Luc Dubois in the No. 5 spot at the 2016 NHL draft], they made a plan internally to pitch [John] Tavares [in free agency but] didn’t get a seat at the table,” Friedman explained. “It’s not out of the realm of possibility, for me, a team that has kind of been in on these players — and why wouldn’t you be in on Erik Karlsson? — that they would maybe fish and take a look.”
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.