Many people have come to terms with this: Senators captain Erik Karlsson appears to be on his way out of Ottawa. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion revealed on Sunday that the team offered their star defenseman a contract extension as soon as they could on July 1st, but have reportedly since given potential suitors the right to negotiate with Karlsson in hopes of landing a better return in a trade.
While the Vegas Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars have all spoken to the Senators about acquiring Karlsson, it seems that we now have a surprising suitor who might jump into negotiations and be considered as a destination for the veteran blue liner.
On Tuesday night, it was believed that the Stars had emerged as the front-runner to land Karlsson. Chris Stevenson of The Athletic and TSN 1200 reported that a potential deal for Karlsson could involve 2017 third overall pick Miro Heiskanen.
However, now, NBC Sports’ Joey Alfieri believes the Philadelphia Flyers have become surprise suitors for Karlsson, as they could have the perfect trade pitch for the Sens captain.
"Philadelphia has plenty of quality prospects at their disposal and the roster is young enough that they can afford to move some of them away."
Mathematically speaking, it could make sense. Karlsson carries a $6.5 million cap hit for the 2018-19 season, and let's say the Flyers land Karlsson, they'd have about $8.2 million in cap space without taking into account players going the other way.
It becomes interesting for the star defender... well, for his wallet.
However, Karlsson could be convinced that with star players like Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Shayne Gostibehere, the Flyers have money to spend and adding Karlsson into the mix, without subtracting too much from the current roster. And that means the Flyers can immediately elevated to a Stanley Cup contender.
While the Senators are in no rush to deal their captain, they will be considering all of their options. It has been said that Ottawa is looking to get rid of forward Bobby Ryan's contract in a deal for Karlsson, and that could also be possible for Philadelphia. The Flyers are loaded with young talented prospects, and could bring forth some interesting options for the Sens' future.
The Karlsson watch has just begun, folks.