It came out just the other day that Erik Karlsson submitted his 10-team no trade list to Ottawa and of those ten teams we are not sure what it looks like. It is said that the 10-team no-trade list is just a formality but you have to be looking at this if you’re Ottawa and thinking “stuff is about to get real”. As the Senators have just dropped a game to one of the worst teams in the NHL, currently sit 29th in the NHL and have won three games in the last month and a half.
Aside from Ottawa’s poor play, with Erik Karlsson’s contract expiring in 2019-20, they also have seven other players contracts expiring that year. Of those seven players, some of them are role guys, goal scorers, and players you need to sign back. Players like Derek Brassard, Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and to make it even worse, the following year Mike Hoffman’s contract expires. Now let’s say Brassard, Stone, Duchene are probably going to eat up a combined cap space of around $17 million a year, Dzingel to about $2.5 mil a year, Hoffman the next year at around $5.5 mil, wherein earth are the Senators affording Erik Karlsson at $11 mil or more a year.
Ok, now I am not saying it is smart to trade Karlsson but at the same time it is because, he is going to ask for a franchise tag, near $11 million a year, and will leave the Senators to face major questions when it comes time to sign back key forwards. Trading Karlsson is not the best or most favorable option but it makes sense.
Some possible destinations for Karlsson could be…
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs have a ton of prospects they would be willing to swap for a defenseman, they could use a #1 defenseman, Morgan Reily is good but if Erik Karlsson could come in and be that guy, I don’t think anyone would disagree. They have about $10.5 million in cap space being freed up after this season and have first, second and third round picks to give up for the next three years. They don’t sign back JVR, Tyler Bozak, Roman Polak and Dominic Moore, it free’s up a ton of cap space. Just an option…
Another team with one of the highest ranked prospect systems in the league, already have a ton of young defenseman ready to make that step to the NHL and also have first round picks for the next three years. Aside from that, they clear up about 7.5 million in cap space once Filipula and Manning’s contract run out and quite honestly trading Giroux or Voracek for a #1 defenseman is something that doesn’t sound crazy for Philadelphia right now.
The Oilers need a number #1 defenseman after Darnell Nurse rocky first couple of years, Oscar Klefbom’s slow start and not living up to expectations the Oilers would not mind a number one guy. They have a projected cap space of 7.1 mil right now, and after this season could possibly let go of Patrick Maroon, Mike Cammarelli, Ryan Strome, and Davidson. Also, a team that has some decent prospects in the system and also 1st round picks to give up for the next three years.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Columbus needs that one piece to complete this teams Stanley Cup hopes and Erik Karlsson does not sound like a bad option. After this season the Jackets could lose, Matt Calvert, Jack Johnson, Ryan Murray, that clears up 9.5 mil a year. Their prospect pool is not terrible either as we have seen players like Pierre Luc-Dubois, Sonny Milano, Josh Anderson and Oliver Bjorkstrand come out of the system. Also, Columbus has a ton of picks to give and first round picks for the next three years.