The trade talk around Ottawa Senators superstar Erik Karlsson is heating up very quickly and it sounds like four teams are currently in the mix for what would undoubtedly be a blockbuster trade deal.
Earlier today Sportsnet's National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman reported that the discussion regarding a Karlsson trade have picked up considerably in the last several days and revealed that it was likely Karlsson would be headed to the Western Conference. At the time Friedman reported that the Vancouver Canucks had surprisingly hopped into the mix and although that was seemingly refuted by Canucks insider and Sportsnet colleague Iain MacIntyre Friedman appears to be sticking to his guns.
"I mentioned Vancouver in there, I think they stepped in to see if there was a fit," said Friedman on Prime Time Sports. I saw Iain MacIntyre who I think is really plugged in with the Canucks said he thinks it was more of a searching mission.... It's not out of the realm of possibility for me... and why wouldn't you be in on Erik Karllson?"
That being said though Friedman did admit that he does not believe the Vancouver Cancuks are the favorites to land the elite NHL defenseman. Instead Friedman rattled off the names of three other NHL teams, teams that he believes are the most likmely destinations for Karlsson.
"I still think it's probably the more likely suspects. Probably some of the ones we've seen like Dallas, San Jose and maybe Vegas."
If it sounds like it Vegas may be a bit of a long shot based on his wording it may be because that is in fact the case. Of the three teams he rattled off here Friedman strongly hinted at the fact that one of them may very well be the favorite at this point.
""I do think Dallas is pretty legitimate in there."
Now we have heard several reports regarding a potential Karlsson trade over the past several months. At one point the expectations was that the deal would come at the NHL trade deadline in February but that came and went without a deal. Then came the 2018 NHL Entry Draft and again the same rumors popped up and again there was no deal by the time the dust had settled. Then this summer a very reliable Ottawa journalist reported that the deal had been finalized but would later retract that report twenty-four hours later when it became abundantly clear hat he had received some bad intelligence. Friedman was asked about this during his segment on Prime Time Sports and Friedman stated that he understood why people would be skeptical at this point but added that he felt he had good information to go on at this stage.
"All I can say Mike is I would not have done it today if I did not have intelligence that said there's a legitimate chance here, but I'm not gonna and say that it's one hundred percent gonna happen. I think we all know that things have been tricky throughout this process."
It sounds like the clock may be ticking on Karlsson's time as an Ottawa Senator.