On Thursday, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion made shocking comments that he would indeed listen to a good offer for star defenseman and captain Erik Karlsson.
Sure, Dorion said his club’s first priority is to re-sign Karlsson, who’s eligible in 2019 to become an unrestricted free agent, but he added that everyone can get moved.
“He’s a special player, but Wayne Gretzky got traded, so, if a team offers you an offer you can’t turn down, you listen.”
This prompted NHL insider Elliotte Friedman to suggest the Sens could be getting a plan in motion to trade Karlsson, who may want to be a Senator for the rest of his career, but one major issue stands in the way.
“I guess they’re just laying the groundwork for the possibility (Karlsson) could get traded. I think that’s what they’re saying,” Friedman said. “Look, I think Erik Karlsson wants to be an Ottawa Senator for the rest of his career. That’s his first choice, to me. But I think there’s a lot of players there who doubt they can win under current ownership — I think he’s one of them.
“I think his preference would be to stay under different ownership. But I think the Senators sent the word out that ‘If you really are serious, give us a call with a serious offer.'”
Sens owner Eugene Melnyk, who is part of ongoing efforts to secure a downtown arena in LeBreton Flats, spoke openly about his franchise’s ongoing rink issues —even hinting that he would consider moving the team if necessary... His attitude has been criticized, and many believe the Sens players would prefer to play under a different ownership.
Aside from the Karlsson situation, the Senators are believed to have also received calls on Mike Hoffman, Derick Brassard, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Ryan Dzingel, Zack Smith, and Cody Ceci.