The soap opera saga that is the Ottawa Senators keeps delivering the goods.
A day after offering defenceman Erik Karlsson a contract extension, the club has given other teams permission to speak with Landsbro native.
The conventional wisdom is that the Senators are trying to trade the two-time Norris-winning blueliner ahead of his becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer. And with numerous events setting a rather tumultuous tone in the Ottawa locker room right now, it makes sense that Pierre Dorion would push for a trade sooner rather than later.
The whole Mike Hoffman fiasco suggested that perhaps the team had sided with Karlsson and was planning on tabling something significant. And Dorion’s announcement of a contract extension offer Sunday may have confirmed that, but today’s revelation seems to have walked things back a bit.
According to the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, the Senators set out an eight-year deal for Karlsson. The money isn’t known, but sources have it in the neighbourhood of Los Angeles’ touted Drew Doughty deal.
But with the New York Post’s Larry Brooks revealing news that other teams have been granted permission to speak with Karlsson now added to this saga, things have taken yet another turn.
Clearly Dorion’s thinking is that the offer should give Karlsson something to think about. And if he sets the price high enough, trading him becomes an interesting factor for any of the teams kicking the tires on the defenceman.
There are teams with an interest in Karlsson, obviously. And there are teams on that list, like the James Neal-less Vegas Golden Knights and the New York Islanders, making a case for a trade. The Golden Knights are among the clubs involved with signing Karlsson and Bobby Ryan, the latter of whom would be added to a swap to drive up the value for Dorion and Co.
Vegas was, after all, close to inking Karlsson at the trade deadline.
If the Golden Knights take another run at Karlsson and absorb the Ryan part of the deal, that could clear some things up for the Senators and give them a chance to piece together a halfway feasible locker room before camp. The Swedish defenceman isn’t the problem, but he is symbolic of all the on-and-off-ice nonsense this team has insisted on putting itself through as of late.