The Ottawa Senators and Erik Karlsson are both working hard on making a deal happen by the trade deadline with the Tampa Bay Lightning being the leading candidate to acquire the star defenseman, according to Elliotte Friedman Saturday on Hockey Night in Canada.
“Whatever gets said, the belief is the Ottawa Senators want to try to make this happen and Erik Karlsson wants it to happen, and they have been grinding away in the last two or three days to see if they can,” Friedman said. “Obviously Tampa Bay is a leading contender, I think they’ve thrown several different proposals at each other.”
While negotiations haven’t reached their final stages, other teams have also shown interest in Karlsson, including the Nashville Predators, San Jose Sharks and the Vegas Golden Knights.
The idea that Karlsson could end up in Tampa Bay is not unrealistic considering he is close friends with fellow Swede Victor Hedman. The two playing on the Lightning’s blueline could be the ultimate piece for a team that want to win a Stanley Cup this year. However, what would be the cost? While Tampa Bay has quite a lot of solid prospects they could deal, Ottawa would almost definitely be looking for a major piece from the team’s active roster with names such as Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde and Vladislav Namestnikov, rumored to be names that Ottawa would want back.
“I’m sure the names Brayden Point and Yanni Gourde have come up, but at the very least it might even cost them [Vladislav] Namestnikov and we know how important he is to the first line in Tampa Bay,” said Kypreos on the same segment of Hockey Night in Canada. “But Ottawa wants a major piece back.”
Friedman added in the segment that he believes if Ottawa is willing to accept Namestnikov as the centerpiece of the deal, “that’s something that Tampa would do.” However, the real question is what else would Ottawa want? The team is unlikely to part with 19-year-old Mikhail Sergachev, who seems to have turned the corner after recent struggles.
You also have to factor in the injury to Ondrej Palat, who is out for another two or three weeks with what many believe is a high ankle sprain. Does the team have enough depth to survive without a Namestnikov, who is a major influence on the team’s first line. The 25-year-old is having a breakout season with 20 goals and 24 assists in 62 games this year. He is only making $1.94MM this year, but will be a restricted free agent next year, which could make him harder to sign for the future.