Although Ottawa Senators captain and star defenseman Erik Karlsson has heard his name back and forth in trade chatter, it remains quite crazy to see it now at the top of the TSN Trade Bait board following NHL insider Bob McKenzie’s report, leaping over pending free agents Rick Nash and Mike Green and teammate Derick Brassard.
On Wednesday, McKenzie revealed that the chances Karlsson gets traded could be as high as 50-50, as Sens general manager Pierre Dorion would be willing to trade the defenseman if he receives an “acceptable” offer by Monday’s 3pm et deadline.
The market is surely heating up with this new report and with many GMs on the phone looking for the perfect fit with four days to go.
“Tons of chatter. Really, really, really busy out there right now. Honest to goodness," Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun told TSN Radio 1050 Toronto. “You can always tell from sources on teams because they’re asking you as many questions as you’re asking them, so the flow of information is all over the place. People are trying to separate fact from fiction.
“As I always say, June is a bit bigger these days because of the cap system. It’s easier to make blockbuster deals more in the offseason, but still I think we’ll get some decent news here the next few days.”
In his recent column in The Athletic, LeBrun also added some interesting details on team pursing Ottawa's star defenseman. The insider noted that Dorion has been in contract with many teams about Karlsson just this past weeks.
And one of them is surely a great menace to all others on the market: the mighty Nashville Predators. Come on, the team is already scary entering the playoffs with one blockbuster trade taking place at the start of the season, when they landed Ottawa's Kyle Turris - and it has already paid off. Then, former captain Mike Fisher will be back in time for the postseason, and the Preds are said to be huge players ahead of Monday's trade deadline. And with talks of them being in on Karlsson, they are expected to play big on both ends of the ice.
They were previously rumoured to be looking to add another offensive boost, as they were reportedly looking at Montreal Canadiens' Max Pacioretty, Nash in New York and even Mike Hoffman, once again in Ottawa.
Now, the fact that they are asking about Karlsson makes it even more exciting ahead of the deadline, and of the post season. Here is what LeBrun wrote in his recent article on The Athletic:
"The Senators spoke to several teams about Erik Karlsson this week, and who knows if he’s traded or not before Monday’s deadline, but I love the fact one of those teams I’m told chatted with them was Nashville. Yes, the Predators. The team with the best top four in the NHL. I can’t see how the Preds could ever swing it so I’d call it a longshot at best, but it just goes to show you that veteran GM David Poile leaves no stone unturned. He probably just wanted to see what’s what. One thing we know about him, he’s not scared to ask, or act."
We better keep an eye on Poile in the next few days.