Erik Karlsson could be heading west in late-summer trade: report

Stan Temming
The Erik Karlsson trade talks appear to be heating up once again. (Getty)
The Erik Karlsson trade talks appear to be heating up once again. (Getty)

The rumour mill continues to churn out, well, rumours surrounding Erik Karlsson. A tweet from Hockey Night in Canada insider Elliotte Friedman on Wednesday alluded to the fact that the stud defenceman could switch conferences for the upcoming season.

While it appeared that talks had cooled on the Karlsson front, Vancouver’s involvement could reignite the market for one of the more intriguing players placed on the block in recent history. Vegas and San Jose have also previously been mentioned as potential destinations for Karlsson, but both teams have failed in their pursuits to this point.

Update: Canucks GM Jim Benning told Sportsnet’s John Shannon later on Wednesday that the Canucks aren’t in on Karlsson.

Karlsson, 28, is one year away from unrestricted free agency, which presents the main hurdle standing in the way of a summer agreement. Ottawa will continue to demand full value in return, but prospective suitors will be reluctant to present a lucrative package with no promise that Karlsson won’t bolt at the end of the season.

Regardless of where he lands next summer, expect a deal similar to that of Los Angeles defenceman Drew Doughty, who on July 1 signed an eight-year extension with an $11 million AAV to make him the NHL’s highest-paid blueliner.

Karlsson’s ninth season with the Ottawa Senators was a difficult one. His nine goals and 62 points in 71 contests was impressive, but the minus-25 rating that he posted was a good summary of the kind of season the Senators endured.

Ottawa finished the campaign 30 points outside of a playoff spot with a record of 28-43-11.

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