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New frontrunner in Karlsson sweepstakes as Lightning trade fell apart!

You better keep up, things are moving quickly... and A LOT!

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Twitter has been overflowing with posts that the Ottawa Senators had made a move last night, sending their captain Erik Karlsson to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a blockbuster deal last night. The confusion went viral on social media as the deal was never made official. 

Let's be clear: While the Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars have all spoken to the Senators about acquiring Karlsson, the star defenseman remains in Ottawa. 

For now. 

While some pundits may be saying to wait on the details of the failed Lightning attempts to be put in place in the next few days, Sportsnet's John Shannon believes another team is back in the front seat in the sweepstakes. Shannon states that despite what has been taking place between the Senators and Lightning, "there is still a belief that Dallas has a chance for Erik Karlsson."

On Thursday morning, Ottawa Sun's Don Brennan revealed that one source close to the situation was positive a deal was to be made with Tampa Bay, and things went nuts from then on. 

TSN’s Shawn Simpson cited his sources telling him a Karlsson deal with Tampa Bay was done pending a trade call with the league office. However, Lightning insider Erik Erlendsson revealed that while it appears a deal may be close, there was no confirmation the trade call had been made. 

Finally, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman mentioned that he was getting denials about the trade call, adding “we’ll just have to let things play out."

And it looks like the Stars want to play too... 

It’s believed a trade between the two teams would not include Bobby Ryan, who still has four years on a contract that carries an annual $7.25 million cap hit the Senators would like to lose. It has also been mentioned that a third team, the Rangers, could be involved in the deal to help the Lightning free up some cap space to take on Karlsson's new contract. However, a source said the Rangers aren’t interested in taking on Ryan as they don’t want to have that his contract preventing them from signing a player they target in free-agent market next summer. 

Some people have been having fun on social media, saying the deal with Tampa Bay fell through because Karlsson's former teammate Mike Hoffman is also in Florida, as he was traded from Ottawa to the San Jose Sharks, who then flipped him to the Panthers. You all remember there was a series of allegations made by the wife Karlsson against Hoffman’s fiancée that cause quite a ruckus in Ottawa. 

The story began when comments made during a sworn statement in court by Melinda Karlsson were made available to the public. The comments outlined a pattern of abusive behavior and harassment that had been occurring over the better part of a year, harassment at the hands of a woman identified as Monika Caryk, which is indeed Hoffman’s fiancée.

Is it the real reason why the deal with Lightning fell through? We doubt it, but it's pretty funny and the Stars might play that card in the ongoing negotiations. 

To be continued, of course!