The Ottawa Senators have been playing a waiting game with Erik Karlsson, and it almost feels like the Vegas Golden Knights have as well. The Knights have been seriously pursuing the Sens captain and star defenseman, ever since the last trade deadline in February, however now, David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wonders if the team has changed its mind as Vegas appears no closer to landing the all-star blueliner with training camp opening in two weeks.
Schoen still considers Karlsson a “perfect fit” for Vegas and its style on play. The blueliner is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status and it is almost clear as day that Karlsson will not re-sign with the Senators, who can’t afford to lose their best trade asset for nothing.
And now, no one is speaking about what is coming next.
"Karlsson declined an interview request from Canadian media Tuesday and said he would address his future when camp opens Sept. 13. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion also has been tight-lipped on the subject."
Schoen maintains that there are still some trade speculations that tie the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks to Karlsson. He goes further by saying that the Senators’ asking price could be four pieces, including an NHL player, a top prospect and a first-round pick.
At the trade deadline, it was said that the Golden Knights were minutes away from completing a deal with Ottawa for Karlsson. They have the cap space to absorb Karlsson’s $6.5-million salary-cap hit and enough to re-sign him, but the issue remains the same: the Senators are looking to unload unload winger Bobby 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.
So sure, the Knights are still looking to land Karlsson, however, Sens GM Pierre Dorion doesn’t appear to be in a hurry to trade Karlsson unless his asking price is met. And so, Vegas might have to wait longer...