Despite the fact that the Ottawa Senators' season was caught short in comparison to their surprising playoffs and Stanley Cup run in 2017, we have been hearing a lot about them since the end of the regular calendar. And it seems like most of the news and chatter are about captain Erik Karlsson, who had to deal with the feud between his wife and former teammate Mike Hoffman's fiancee and the many trade rumours that have been said about him.
The one that quickly comes to mind is the speculation that almost came through earlier this summer, when it was believed that Karlsson was on his way to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a deal that took place late one evening. However, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was one of the first to deny the rumour, and the monster trade fell through within a couple of hours.
Chris Stevenson of the Athletic held an interview with Karlsson, who revealed that he is quite pleased with the progress he’s made on his surgically-repaired left ankle which hampered his performance last season.
However, when Stevenson went on to discuss the blockbuster trade with Tampa Bay that fell through, Karlsson stunned fans.
While Karlsson was willing to discuss the condition of his ankle, he refused to talk about the trade rumors that swirled about him earlier this month. Stevenson noted talk of an imminent trade have grown quiet at the moment and, honestly, no one truly knows what happened. We are left with the simple notion that Karlsson rejected an eight-year contract extension from the Senators that was competitive with the $88-million deal recently signed by Drew Doughty with the Los Angeles Kings. The deal apparently fell through because the Sens offer didn’t come with signing bonuses like that of Toronto Maple Leafs' John Tavares.
While Karlsson refused to talk about the deal that fell through with the Lightning, Stevenson revealed what he believes will take place in Ottawa. He believes Sens general manager Pierre Dorion will do everything he can to prevent losing Karlsson to free agency for nothing next summer. If the Senators don’t come up with a better offer, Stevenson believes Karlsson will be dealt before the 2019 trade deadline.
Maybe Karlsson will have something to say about this in his next interview...