The summer was quite peaceful in the past few weeks as nothing had been heard about the frantic Erik Karlsson saga and trade chatter. It seemed like everything had died down after the Tampa Bay Lightning failed to complete a reported trade for the Ottawa Senators star defenseman and nothing had been heard until the Vancouver Canucks were said to be looking to potentially work a deal to bring the Sens captain to British Columbia.
While Canucks general manager Jim Benning did not want to admit that he was possibly working on a deal to add Karlsson to his roster, the star blue liner did comment the rumour by stating that he would sign a long term contract with a Canadian team.
Of course, it might not be the Senators, seeing that earlier this summer, the Senators offered Karlsson an eight-year extension that sources say was north of $80 million over its lifetime, but the offer was not accepted. He will make $6.5 million this season and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2019 if he doesn’t have a contract extension in place.
Now Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal wonders if the Oilers would be interested in getting into the Karlsson sweepstakes themselves.
"It isn’t that the Oilers could not manage his $6.5m salary this year. It’s more about the double-digits he will command as a UFA in the Spring. Even if you make the leap that Karlsson would be interested, the roster would require major surgery in order to pull that off."
It would be quite the procedure to take on Karlsson and his eventual monster deal, as Cap Friendly currently indicates that the Oilers currently have around $3.9 million in projected salary-cap space for 2018-19 with restricted free agent defenseman Darnell Nurse to re-sign. While Edmonton will have some cap flexibility when sidelined blueliner Andrej Sekera gets placed on long-term injured reserve at the start of the season, it would just be ridiculous for them to get in line for Karlsson.
With over $62 million invested in 13 players for 2019-20, the Oilers have the cap room to pay Karlsson over $11 million annually but it wouldn’t leave enough space to do any changes or addition to the rest of the roster.
When last of the trade chatter was heard on Karlsson, it was believed five to six teams, including the Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks, remain interested in Karlsson. Friedman added that he thinks the Stars, Sharks and Knights remain among the frontrunners in the Karlsson sweepstakes, and we do not suppose the Oilers will change that...
Source: Edmonton Journal
Photo Credit: Zuma Press