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Las Vegas–Well it seems like the Erik Karlsson trade talks are heating up and the Vegas Golden Knights are involved once again.
As it stands right now, the free agent market of available players seems to have dwindled down as yesterday teams from around the league grabbed the best options that were there for the taking.
So where does that leave teams still looking to upgrade their lineups ahead of the 2018-19 season, well I’m here to tell you that the second option is the trade market.
This is where Ottawa Senators defenseman and Captain EK65 comes into play. It was reported yesterday that Senators GM Pierre Dorion has offered his current captain an eight year contract extension.
Given the situation in how things are a mess in Canada’s capital, the likelihood for Karlsson to sign this extension is very slim. The catch here is that Karlsson can’t official ink the contract until next July during the 2019 NHL Free Agent Frenzy.
So for Karlsson he might not want that going forward.
Karlsson’s current cap hit is $6.5 million on the last year of his seven year contract that he originally signed back on June 19, 2012.
With what happened yesterday as division rival Los Angeles Kings signing Drew Doughty to his second eight year contract this time worth $88 million ($11 million per season), sets the market asking price again for a top flight defenseman.
Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported that Karlsson is looking for the same deal. As indicated, the Senators have granted those clubs interested in speaking Karlsson can do so.
Senators have given interested teams permission to talk contract extension with Karlsson. Sounds as if he is looking for Doughty deal (8×11)
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 2, 2018
The 2018 Stanley Cup Champions Washington Capitals did that as well with defenseman John Carlson, signing him to an eight year contract that runs thru 2025-26 at $8 million per season. Carlson signed his new deal on June 25, 2018.
As Karlsson is a two-time Norris Trophy winner (2012 and 2015) he put together 62 point campaign last season that included nine goals and 53 assists in just 71 games.
With that said, Travis Yost reported on his Twitter page today that the Golden Knights are in fact talking with Karlsson on a personal level thru GM George McPhee.
"They also put Karlsson personally in touch with GMGM." https://t.co/HrV0prhu0v
— Travis Yost (@travisyost) July 2, 2018
This could be the next step in the process for Vegas to continue retooling their lineup for the upcoming season.
For the Golden Knights taking on Karlsson they will get them a top flight defenseman which is something that they currently don’t have. In addition, Vegas is also on board in acquiring forward Bobby Ryan at it was reported by David Pagnotta from The Fourth Period.
As we’ve mentioned over past few days, VGK, NYR and at least one more team has expressed interest in acquiring both Karlsson/Ryan. There are 6-7 other teams after just Karlsson. Told NYI is among them.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 2, 2018
The most interesting part about taking on Ryan is that he still has four years remaining on his current contract that runs all the way up to the 2021-22 season. His cap hit demands $7.25 million of space.
This past season Ryan scored 11 goals, recorded 22 assists for 33 points and was -12.
So he could be looking for a change of scenery that could help restore his goal scoring touch that he had with the Ducks from 2008-2012 seasons. During that span he had four straight 30 goal campaigns.
According to our friends at Capfriendly.com the Golden Knights have $18,750,000 in available cap space. So Vegas could easily accommodate both players.
On the flip side of things, the Golden Knights still have five RFA’s in William Karlsson, William Carrier, Tomas Nosek, Colin Miller, and Shea Theodore who have yet to sign their qualifying offers by the club. As McPhee indicated yesterday, those signings should take place in the next week or two.
With that in mind, it could cause a little bit of a problem for Vegas so McPhee will have to work some magic to get this done.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported that other teams are also in the mixed for Karlsson’s services, those clubs are the San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Washington Capitals.
It’s going to be interesting to see how the all plays out in the end and if the Golden Knights could manage snagging this offseason blockbuster.
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