On Tuesday night we were hit with a stunning report regarding Ottawa Senators superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson and the possibility of him being traded by the Senators franchise.
Since Monday night we had been hearing that team's that would be willing to take on the contract on veteran forward Bobby Ryan as part of the deal for Karlsson were the front runners to land the coveted defenseman. There were believed to be three teams that met that criteria, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the New York Rangers and a team that has as of this writing yet to be identified. That being said though everything changed on Tuesday when out of nowhere the Dallas Stars announced their presence in this entire fiasco.
In a stunning turn of events we have now learned that thew Dallas Stars are the current consensus favorites to acquire Karlsson in a trade and from what we know there are currently very serious discussions going on between the two sides as they attempt to get a deal done. What makes the Stars sudden emergence as a top contender in this situation is the fact that they do not appear to be one of the teams that will be capable of taking on veteran forward Bobby Ryan.
Reporter Chris Stevenson of The Athletic, the reporter who initially broke the story that Dallas was now leading the race, has now shared the details of two offers that are believed to be on the table according to his source. We do not know the complete details of either offer but we do know that each team is focused in on one piece in particular and that may be a sticking point for one or even both of these teams.
First there is a belief that the Ottawa Senators are asking for 18 year old defenseman Miro Heiskanen as a part of any deal that the Stars will present for Karlsson. Heiskanen was Dallas' 1st round pick (3rd overall) in the 2017 National Hockey League Entry Draft and is largely viewed as one of the very best prospects in that organizations system. Obviously he would be a nice piece for the Senators because he could potentially one day help fill the giant gap that will be left on their blue line by the departure of Karlsson.
The Stars however do not appear to be so thrilled with the idea of giving up a blue chip prospect like Heiskanen even if it is for a player like Karlsson. According to Stevenson the Stars would much prefer to give up 22 year old former first round puck Julius Honka and hang in to Heiskanen for the long term. Honka was Dallas' 1st round pick (14th) overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft but is not a prospect at the same level as Heiskanen so I can see Ottawa sticking to their guns on this one. Unfortunately for Stars fans I don't think Dallas' counter offer will get this done unless they find another way to sweeten the deal.
To be clear here either prospect would just be the start of any offer for Karlsson here, it seems likely that the Senators would also want an NHL ready player and an additional pick, or picks, in order to let go of their superstar on the blue line.