Could Senators Be Trading Karlsson?
SENATORS: A Week in Review is a weekly column looking back at the week in Ottawa Senators hockey written by OLMSports Dave Gross.
Feature photo Courtesy NHLI via Getty Image
So just how much stuffing is in this turkey of an idea to trade Ottawa Senator Erik Karlsson?
Depends who you listen to, who or what you read, and who you watch.
In other words, anything is possible.
In my opinion, this just isn't going to happen though.
Smart hockey folks will tell you that the team that 'wins' trades is the one coming out of it with the best player.
In the potential world of a Karlsson deal, unless Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews is coming back the other way, it's a major loss for Ottawa.
Look it, we know the Senators are currently playing some of their most listless and uninspiring hockey in years but if Ottawa was to swap its best player to kick-start a run at the playoffs, that's just not going to work. You're not going to get fair value.
If the team then was looking to trade Karlsson to head in the other direction and bottom out for a prospect or two or three, that's all well and good, but what do you do with the rest of these guys?
This is an older team and a good chunk of the guts of the club (Dion Phaneuf, Bobby Ryan, Derick Brassard, Craig Anderson and Johnny Oduya) are on the north side of 30 (Zack Smith turns 30 later this season).
It's a pickle to be sure.
For his part, Karlsson is now saying all the right things.
His current contract expires after next season. He's pulling in a 'home-town' discount of $6.5 million US (annual average salary) during this current deal – although his base salary is $7 million this season and $7.5 million next.
Wherever he signs in 2019, he is going to land a hefty raise, and well-deserved, at $6.5 million per, Karlsson is grossly underpaid given the market.
Asked by Sportsnet this week about contract talks and whether he's up to signing on back in Ottawa, Karlsson was indeed saying all the right things:
"To be honest with you, it’s not something that I’ve really thought of. I don’t really know why I spoke out about it. It’s not something that’s been on my mind. I love it here in Ottawa, it’s never, ever crossed my mind that I ever want to leave here or go somewhere else. That’s not something I’ve ever considered. That they spun it that way, that’s the way it is.
"I’m happy where I am. It’s not something I try and focus on. I try and do my job right now. When that time comes, that’s something that we’re going to deal with. And, again, it’s a business, it’s a two-way street. I’m happy where I am and I hope that they’re happy where I’m at. And again, it’s a two-way street. So, I’m going to do my part, and I’m sure they’re going to do theirs. It’s not something – leaving – that I’ve ever considered."
NEWS, NOTES AND NOTIONS: Heading into Tuesday's game in Philly, Toronto was a lusty 5-0 with Auston Matthews out of the lineup . . . Wayne Gretzky nailed it when discussing the Edmonton Oilers disappointing season. Asked if the Oil can ride the coattails of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the former Oiler told Sportsnet: “You’ve got to have a team, you’ve got to have a second goaltender, you’ve got to have six defencemen, you’ve got to have that seventh guy ready, your fourth line has to be a factor in the game. You can’t win with two good hockey players … Bobby Orr would have won 12 Stanley Cups, Gordie Howe would have won 15 Cups, you can’t win like that in hockey."
THE WEEK AHEAD:
Tuesday, Dec. 12: Ottawa at Buffalo (7 pm)
Wednesday, Dec. 13: NY Rangers at Ottawa (7 pm)
Saturday, Dec. 16: Montreal at Ottawa (7 pm)