After a flurry of trade rumors involving Ottawa Senators superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson over the course of the summer things have seemingly died down as most organizations and their rosters were quietly enjoying their vacations prior to the start of training camps across the National Hockey League. This provided the illusion that trade talks involving Karlsson had all but died out but a new report from Senators insider Bruce Garrioch suggests that is not the case.
According to Garrioch the Senators are currently playing a waiting game with Karlsson and are still waiting for the right offer to be made before they seriously consider moving their captain. Many believe that training camp and the start of the season could be potential deadlines for the organization but Garrioch believes they are prepared to holdout as long as it takes but that could create some problems as well.
There has been some speculation regarding whether or not Karlsson would be willing to show up at training camp following this entire fiasco and furthermore whether or not he would honor his contract and show up to play on the first day of the season. Based on the latest reports however it seems that the Senators organization is confident that Karlsson will show up for both, take that for what it's worth.
Although the talks have seemingly gone quiet from the outside looking in Garrioch claims that 6 teams remained involved in the discussions for Ottawa's star defenseman and additionally he has been able to identify four of them. Those teams are the Las Vegas Golden Knights, the Dallas Stars, the Tampa Bay Lightning and the San Jose Sharks.
The Lightning and the Stars are the least surprising given the fact that they were both reported to be heavily involved in trade talks earlier this summer. The Sharks were rumored as a potential destination but to my knowledge this is the first time that a source as solid as Garrioch has acknowledged their involvement. That leaves two additional teams and thankfully Garrioch was willing to speculate.
The Anaheim Ducks are a perenial playoff contender that has been unabke to get over the hump in the past several seasons and when you consider the fact that their core group is aging rapidly their window is closing quickly The other team mentioned by Garrioch were the Vancouver Canucks, a team that although believed to be in a rebuild just had the mastermind behind their rebuild, Trevor Linden, walk away from the team. There is a belief that ownership wants to continue to move towards postseason contention and a big move like this would be exactly the way to do it.
The connection between these two teams is obvious, both are organizations that have the assets to get this type of a deal done. Vancouver has over $9 million in projected cap space for the 2018 - 2018 NHL regular season and could easily accommodate a move that included forward Bobby Ryan's rather ugly contract. Given that this has been a demand from the Senators from the very beginning that could drive the price down significantly for the Cancuks. The Ducks have just over $6 million in projected cap space and could potentially pull this off as well but they would have to get very creative, and I doubt they have an appetite for it in the first place.