It’s been about a day since TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie asserted that Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson could be traded.
Now, we know from experience that anyone can be traded at any given moment in the world of hockey. And nothing is certain.
But spicing things up ahead of Monday’s trade deadline is kind of fun and McKenzie and Co. generally possess the goods, so here we are.
TSN listed the possibility of a Karlsson trade as a less than 50/50 situation, but that was a bold assessment.
There are facts beyond the speculation, with Senators general manager Pierre Dorion fielding calls about Karlsson and “engaged in some level of trade talk” with “more than a half-dozen” teams.
From the outside looking in, that’s a pretty decent bit of information. It certainly doesn’t quell the rumours that Karlsson could be on the block or on the move. It doesn’t, mind you, suggest that he’s necessarily on the trading block or that Dorion is actively pushing him around to other teams.
And indeed, making a move of this magnitude in today’s NHL is a rarity.
Talking about a Karlsson trade should seem like madness, but these are mad times. The Senators are potentially in view of a rebuild of sorts and trading their best player – and one of the league’s best players – could open up the capital and resources required to make more significant, franchise-shifting moves.
And let’s be clear: things between Karlsson and the Senators aren’t exactly peachy.
Talk around his 2019 pending free agency was ugly and in large part based on an overinterpretation of a “get what I’m worth” comment from the blueliner. This seemed to produce a set of dangerous rumours in which Karlsson had submitted a “no-trade” list to his hockey club, which in turn led Dorion to a moment of honesty about a month ago when he said that his defenceman could indeed be traded.
The general manager was signed to a three-year extension and given purview over the rebuild by Eugene Melnyk, which kind of leads us here.
Again, this is all speculative at this point. But the press, as is its frequent want, has been all but shoving Karlsson out of town for months now. And sometimes, smoke really does lead to fire.
Could the Ottawa Senators trade one of the league’s best players by Monday? Absolutely.
Will that make things better for these Ottawa Senators and their fans? You be the judge of that.