Did Erik Karlsson play his last game as a member of the Ottawa Senators?
Just a few weeks ago, there was no way Karlsson would be traded. Just a few days ago, there was nothing more than a rumor that general manager Pierre Dorion might consider a trade if he was blown away. Now suddenly, it seems like everyone is in on a potential trade and there is a good chance Karlsson will be dealt.
The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch writes that while he believes there is a better chance than not that Karlsson will remain with the Senators after the trade deadline, it seems that teams are lining up to make offers. The scribe writes that three teams, in particular, have all been mentioned as trade partners for Karlsson, including the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights and the Nashville Predators. Tampa Bay would love to add Karlsson to their stable of defensemen and have a 1-2 combination of Victor Hedman and Karlsson. Vegas wouldn’t mind acquiring the star and making him the face of their franchise and would be easily able to take the contract of Ryan off Ottawa’s hands as well.
The San Jose Sharks have also been mentioned as having checked in with Ottawa about Karlsson and also have the cap room to take on Ryan, but seem an unlikely option.
All three clubs would like to have Karlsson for the next two postseasons, but Garrioch writes that unless the Senators are blown away by an offer, the team should hold onto the star defenseman and move him before the draft. That’s the more likely time the team will see the best offers. The Senators have made it clear to anyone calling that they are looking for about five to six pieces to help the team both immediately and in the future.
- Pierre LeBrun tweets that the New York Rangers that trade talks surrounding winger Rick Nash are progressing. While there is no mention of what teams are attempting to make a deal for the veteran, LeBrun writes the Rangers got an offer they are considering, but then adds that other teams remain in the mix. A deal within the next 24 hours is not out of the question. Elliotte Friedman just added that the Boston Bruins may be the leading candidate in the Nash sweepstakes.
- Charlie O’Connor of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that for Philadelphia Flyers prospect forward Oskar Lindblom to remain with the Flyers once Wayne Simmonds returns from injury, he would have to knock one player off one of the top three lines. Lindblom, who had 16 goals with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL this year has played in just two games since being recalled after Simmonds went down. While he hasn’t put up any points yet, O’Connor writes that Lindblom would need to show that he can produce at the NHL level better than either Michael Raffl or Jordan Weal. Both could easily move to the fourth line to make room for him. The question is whether he can produce.
- Scott Wheeler of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that one asset the Toronto Maple Leafs have is their AHL franchise, the Toronto Marlies, which seems to have one of the deepest rosters in the league. While that is great, the team has too many players and once playoff time rolls around, the Marlies will have some real issues. If the Maple Leafs are eliminated from the playoffs before the Marlies are, the Maple Leafs will also likely send some players down, causing an even bigger roster jam. Wheeler writes the Maple Leafs should consider moving some of their AHL players such as defenseman Calle Rosen to lighten their load, but some of those pieces could also be used to acquire another piece for the Maple Leafs.