Don’t look now but it’s officially the last day of July and Erik Karlsson is still a member of the Ottawa Senators. Who saw this coming!?
Earlier this month a report from TSN’s Shawn McKenzie seemed to indicate that Karlsson was on move, having been acquired by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Of course, this report turned out to be false, Fake News as they call it these days, and Karlsson remains a member of the Senators. Still, trade rumors continue to swirl around Karlsson and the entire Sens organization but it appears as though Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman may have other targets in his sights.
According to a report from Lightning insider Joe Smith of The Athletic, the Lightning are still in the hunt for another right side defenseman with the Winnipeg Jets’ Jacob Trouba, Carolina Hurricanes’ Justin Faulk and Vancouver Canucks’ Chris Tanev emerging as potential trade targets.
Check it out:
I still think the Lightning could, and should, continue their search for another right-shot defenseman. They’re pretty stacked on the left-side for the coming years with Victor Hedman, Mikhail Sergachev and McDonagh, though Sergachev showed he could play regularly on the right. Tampa Bay will no doubt monitor the Jacob Trouba situation in Winnipeg, with the right-shot defenseman recently settling for a one-year, $5.5 million deal in arbitration.
With Carolina having acquired Dougie Hamilton this offseason, right-shot Justin Faulk could be available. Faulk, who is more of an offensive-defenseman, has two years left on his contract at $4.83 million AAV. The Canucks’ Christopher Tanev is also an intriguing option, another right-shot with two years left on his deal (at $4.45 million), similar to what Anton Stralman makes now (and comes off the books next summer). Tanev’s numbers won’t pop off the page (two goals, nine assists last season), but he’s strong in his own end and controls his area. He understands the position, and makes smart plays and reads.
The thing about Trouba, Faulk and Tanev is that, while all skilled, valuable defenders, each player could be acquired for much less than Karlsson via trade. As good as a player like Trouba or Faulk is, no one is talking about them as perennial Norris Trophy candidates. Still, the Lightning have plenty of intriguing assets to offer up via trade, especially to a rebuilding team like the Canucks. Could Canucks general manager Jim Benning be lured into swapping his top blue liner for a top prospect like Cal Foote or Taylor Raddysh?