Las Vegas–The hockey world still awaits the news on who will acquire the next biggest offseason prize in Ottawa Senators Defenseman Erik Karlsson.
Since the Toronto Maple Leafs signed unrestricted free agent John Tavares to an impressive seven year contract at $77 million over the term, teams that missed out on signing him have looked elsewhere to compensate for that loss and that is where Senators Karlsson comes into focus.
On Ottawa’s side of this story, last week GM Pierre Dorion put out an offer to Karlsson with an eight year extension but with the turmoil and dysfunction that has happened in Canada’s Capital last season with then forward Mike Hoffman, it’s highly unlikely that their current Captain will accept it.
This is where the Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars, and Tampa Bay Lightning come into play as they are among the teams involved in trade talks with the Ottawa Senators for the better part of the previous week.
With all three teams that have been contenders in the EK65 sweepstakes that are gunning for the two-time Norris Trophy winner, things have gone a bit cold on the trail. So why has this happened?
Well for Vegas, according to David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period he made mentioned in an article he wrote yesterday regarding the situation that Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee is getting a bit flustered in how trade discussions between himself and Dorion has been going.
The part that is making a potential Golden Knights and Senators trade to actually happened is the overall package itself which has been a bit of a challenge on both sides.
With Vegas being such a young franchise their notable prospects in the system are forwards Cody Glass and Nick Suzuki along with blueliners Erik Brannstrom and Nic Hague. These players were selected during last years NHL Draft in Chicago.
So with these prospects that Vegas has and how well they did with their respected clubs in the 2017-18 season has peaked the interest in Dorion in wanting to get at least one of them in a trade package. It’s be mentioned previously that Dorion wants Glass.
In juniors with the Portland Winterhawks, Glass put together a heck of a season with another campaign of reaching the 30 goal mark at 37, he also recorded 65 assists for 102 points and a whopping +42 rating. This was also his career best in the Western Hockey League.
Seeing these numbers you can see why Dorion wants Glass so bad to be included in the deal and that McPhee does not want to give him up.
Another part that makes it a difficult one is taking on Bobby Ryan‘s contract that demands a cap space of $7.25 million per season over the next four seasons.
As of yesterday the Golden Knights locked up defenseman Colin Miller to a four year deal at $3.875 mil per season and contract total of $15.5 mil over the term. This marked the cancellation of salary arbitration on Miller’s part.
Since the Miller signing took place, the Golden Knights now have $14,875,000 left in cap space available. With that said, Vegas still has yet to officially sign RFA forwards William Karlsson, Tomas Nosek, and William Carrier as well as defenseman Shea Theodore.
Among those four players left who received qualifying offers by the Golden Knights, both Karlsson and Nosek filed for salary arbitration last week. Since Vegas avoided salary arbitration with the Miller signing it could be that McPhee would probably want to settle these contract disputes with Karlsson and Nosek.
If that happens then the Golden Knights available cap space will most likely drop significantly especially for the teams top line center scoring 43 goals last season.
Ottawa’s Karlsson has one year remaining on his current contract and commands a cap space of $6.5 million. With the potential of Vegas getting him and taking on Ryan’s contract that’s $13.75 million of space needed to make this happen. That would leave the Golden Knights with just $1.125 million in cap space left.
This could be a problem for McPhee as he would seek salary retention from the Senators on either Ryan’s or Karlsson’s contract as he still has four pending RFA’s to deal with.
According to Capfiendly.com, the percentage retained by a club cannot exceed 50 percent of the player’s salary (including all bonuses) and Salary Cap Hit and teams are authorized up to three contracts of salary retention.
Right now the Senators have just one player that is being retained and that’s former defenseman Dion Phaneuf. They still have three seasons left of being on the hook for a portion of Phaneuf’s salary ($1.75 million till 2020-21).
In addition, Ottawa currently has $17,686,667 of space available for the upcoming season. Mark Stone and Cody Ceci are their remaining RFA’s still pending a contract and elected for salary arbitration.
So with that the waiting game continues on the EK65 front.
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