Trade deadline season is always the absolute best, if you consider mind-numbingly stupid rumors and pointless trades to be the best.
By that, I mean it’s the effing worst, and it’s really not close.
This year’s trade deadline has been a bit bath salty by even NHL blogosphere stretches, though, because one of the league’s undisputed best players - Ottawa Senators captain and Norris-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson - seems to actually, legitimately be on the trading block.
Every now and then, it appears that a notable star is headed out, either for free agency or via a trade to avoid a new contract.
Usually, those rumors are nothing more than smoke. Steven Stamkos never signed anywhere but Tampa Bay. Leon Draisaitl didn’t sign a single offer sheet, and so far, Max Pacioretty has remained a core part of the Montreal Canadiens.
This year, though, it seems like the Senators may actually do the unthinkable - and just one year after hitting the Eastern Conference Final, they may be about to deal Karlsson and start their roster over from scratch.
Not sure about formality, but believe Erik Karlsson has made it known to Ottawa in recent days that he would prefer to see expedited resolution to the current situation.— Travis Yost (@travisyost) February 26, 2018
If no trade materializes here, OTT will need to quickly regroup this summer.
It’s worth discussing, of course, whether or not the Avalanche could be a fit for the offensively-gifted defenseman.
Would it cost a metric shitton? Of course. Would it maybe hurt the team in other areas? Possibly. But with Colorado’s cap where it is, is it possible? Sure. And the Senators may just be crazy enough that every team is now fair game. [Mile High Hockey]
More realistically, though, let’s talk about whether or not the Avalanche could possibly help another team in a Karlsson trade, hopefully getting more in return than the Vegas Golden Knights got in the Derick Brassard transaction. [MHH]
Speaking of another team, how about the Vegas Golden Knights? They have next to no salary next year, seem to be allergic to losing, and have already helped the Senators out with facilitating another trade. If the Avalanche aren’t definitely getting Erik Karlsson, Vegas most certainly is. [Knights on Ice]
But wait! Let’s be real: it sounds like the Tampa Bay Lightning are working some magic here, and are definitely poised to be the team that will pick up Erik Karlsson. Which, frankly, is super unfair. [Raw Charge]
Let’s back up, though. The Arizona Coyotes have: 1) cap space coming out of their ears, 2) a desire to start contending again, and 3) already made a move to pick up a Swedish defenseman at the reported urging of Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Because, unlike the Senators, they are willing to bend over backwards to keep their star blue liner happy. With that in mind, let’s be real: Erik Karlsson is going to be John Chayka’s next move. [Five For Howling]
What if the Senators could bring back another offensive defenseman, though - and one who could also transition to forward when they’ve traded everyone else away? Clearly, the San Jose Sharks have the best pitch for EK. [Fear the Fin]
If they need help, could the Montreal Canadiens pitch in? I THINK SO. [Habs Eye On The Prize]
Do you know who is not looking to pick up Erik Karlsson, though?
The Edmonton Oilers.
We all have our priorities, I guess.
When I walk into work at 6:30 AM my boss will be confused on why I’m there so early. I will walk by him, my desk, and straight to the lounge flop down on the couch flip on @NHLNetwork kick my feet up and not move until my brother is traded. No one talk to me!— Phil Maroon (@phillyphilstl2) February 26, 2018