Multiple reports surfaced this past weekend that linked the Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning in trade discussions regarding superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson. The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinizawa specifically mentioned All-Star Brayden Point as part of a return package in the deal, but now The Tampa Times’ Joe Smith has weighed in with more details.
Smith asserts that, while it still may be a long shot, the Lightning are one of the few teams in the NHL with the assets to land Karlsson via trade. If indeed you believe the reports that Sens GM Pierre Dorion won’t even consider trading Karlsson unless he receives an offer that completely blows his socks off, well Bolts GM Steve Yzerman is one of a few GMs who can deliver on that. As Smith puts it, “the Lightning likely has the bait to land him [Karlsson]”.
So, what would a potential Karlsson trade package look like?
…a top-six forward such as pending restricted free agent Vladislav Namestnikov or Tyler Johnson, whose no-trade clause doesn’t kick in until June. You could add a quality prospect such as forward Taylor Raddysh and a pick or two, maybe another defenseman, such as Jake Dotchin or Slater Koekkoek.
That’s quite a package, but nowhere does Smith mention Point. Fat chance on prying Karlsson out of Ottawa unless Point is included in a deal. As good as Namestnikov and Johnson may be, the fans in Ottawa are going to want a potential star player in return for their captain.
Not for nothing, such a deal would decimate the Lightning’s core group and their depth. For these reasons, it’s unlikely that Yzerman pulls the trigger on such a blockbuster deal mid-season. If he’s going to make such a major overhaul to his team’s roster, he’ll likely wait until the upcoming offseason.
Still… we can dream of a world in which Karlsson joins Victor Hedman via a blockbuster trade deadline move. What a world…
Rangers’ Nash heading back home?
Don’t look now but the New York Rangers are currently dead last in the NHL’s Metropolitan Division. The team’s 3-7-0 record over their past 10 games has forced them outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, with two points to make up on the Philadelphia Flyers who are in possession of the final Wild Card spot. Overall the Rangers are 25-22-5 on the 2017-18 campaign, which isn’t awful but it certainly leaves a lot to be desired. Especially when you consider that this team is just two campaigns removed from a Stanley Cup Finals appearance.
With the season’s disappointment and with the Rangers showing their age at times this season, fans and analysts are calling for change in The Big Apple. Henrik Lundqvist isn’t going anywhere, but pretty much everyone else on the Blueshirts’ roster has been dangled in trade discussions. Fans were shocked to hear that captain Ryan McDonagh has been offered up for trade, but one name that should come as a surprise to no one is pending unrestricted free-agent Rick Nash.
The 33-year-old winger has 15 goals and 25 points in 52 games with the Rangers this season and is a shadow of the player who used to consistently put up 30+ goals and 60+ points earlier in his career. Still, for the right price and in the right situation, Nash could be a very smart pick up at the trade deadline.
One team in the mix to land Nash? The Columbus Blue Jackets. Could you IMAGINE? The former 1st overall pick of the Jackets back in 2002 left the franchise in 2012 amidst some consternation and controversy. But, with the Blue Jackets now a marquee franchise and with Nash playing more of a supplementary role at this point of his career, could a reunion be in the works?
Again… could you IMAGINE? The Prodigal Son returning home? Or the disgraced son begging for another shot? What do you say, Jackets fans? Would you welcome back Nash to your team? Has time healed your wounds?