Alright, we have to say up front, we agree with Sportsnet insider Chris Johnston. In his latest column on the Sportsnet website, he uses the right word to explain the Erik Karlsson saga as the Ottawa Senators are listening to offers to trade him.
It is never going to be easy to trade the Sens captain. Here's what Johnston writes: "Not now, in the rushed hours before Monday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline. Not in June at the entry draft, even with fewer cap constraints and more suitors. Not in July, when sign-and-trade scenarios could potentially come into play."
Last night, Karlsson is believed to have poked fun at all the speculations. Before the contest between Ottawa and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who is said to be chasing the star defenseman on the market, Karlsson was spotted going to the wrong locker room when he arrived at the Canadian Tire Center a on Thursday night.
The report from Don Brennan is particularly notable due to the fact that the Bolts are one of the teams that has been viewed as a serious contender to acquire Karlsson in a trade deal before the National Hockey League's upcoming trade deadline.
Just in case that wasn't bizarre enough for you though this story gets even more strange, and the source for this next bit is none other than TSN insider Bob McKenzie.
According to McKenzie, what he saw was Karlsson shaking hands with and speaking to a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning's staff in the main hall on Thursday night. Then Karlsson would go on to step into the doorway of what McKenzie believes is the trainers room for the Tampa Bay Lightning in order to shake hands with another one of the Lightning's training staff.
Recently, NHL insider Darren Dreger and McKenzie both agreed that a massive offer will be needed to land Karlsson, but the latter believes a rival team might have the perfect trade pitch to convince Dorion to pull the trigger on his captain. McKenzie said he’s heard “upwards of five, six, seven pieces” and perhaps a team being asked to take on forward Bobby Ryan’s contract in that same deal. It is to be noted that Ryan still has four seasons remaining at an annual salary-cap hit of $7.25 million on his current deal.
"I think the Ottawa Senators are somewhat open to the idea of trading Erik Karlsson between now and the deadline and as a result those conversations are taking place. But it’s got to be for an absolutely huge haul. We’re hearing upwards of five, six, seven pieces and perhaps teams being asked to take on Bobby Ryan’s contract that has four years to go at more at $7 million a year. So to your point, Darren, I think the prices are astronomical and maybe that means they don’t really want to trade him between now and the deadline. But if they get a king’s ransom then they would consider it."
One rumoured trade package for Karlsson was said to be from the Lightning, who would need to move promising defender Mikhail Sergachev, forward Brayden Point, and their first round pick for the next three seasons. Sergachev has proven to be a future star on the blue line, Point has the potential to be a consistent point per game forward in the future and the first rounders will always be required in a deal for Karlsson.
And Johnston maintains his point: the time is now.