September 11, 2018 | 4:50pm ET
TheFourthPeriod.com

KARLSSON TRADE TALKS HEAT UP, AGAIN

 
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Erik Karlsson, defenceman

 

The Ottawa Senators continue to engage in trade discussions involving captain Erik Karlsson, and multiple sources have told TFP that talks have heated up in the last 24-36 hours.

Though none of the sources put a definitive timeline as to when a trade may be finalized, the belief around the Senators organization is that management prefers to get a deal done by the official start of training camp on Thursday.

Whether a deal materializes between now and then remains to be seen, but negotiations are “ongoing” and TFP has learned at least one team recently upped their offer for Karlsson.

The Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks and New York Islanders are among the teams that showed serious interest in Karlsson in late-June and early-July, and they are believed to still be in the mix, with the exception of the Islanders, according to one Eastern Conference source. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks and Florida Panthers also expressed interest in Karlsson this off-season.

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils were both linked to being a third-team in the mix, as both clubs are willing to take on a player with a hefty contract in exchange for young assets and/or draft picks.

Vegas’ recent acquisition of Max Pacioretty likely takes them out of the equation for Senators right wing Bobby Ryan. The Knights had discussed a deal for Karlsson and Ryan prior to the NHL Draft and sources have told TFP the team believed they had a deal in place, but the Senators backed out and the two sides have yet to come to terms on an agreement.

The Stars have made it clear they are not interested in trading 2017 third-overall selection Miro Heiskanen, whom the Senators have identified as a player they’d like, but TFP has learned the two teams remain in talks and continue discussions that do not include Heiskanen.

Talks between the Senators and Canucks were limited, despite Vancouver GM Jim Benning denying reports. Negotiations fizzled after the Canucks refused to part with their 2019 first-round draft pick, according to a well-placed source, who also indicated Canucks forward Bo Horvat was part of those discussions.

Karlsson, who is in the final year of his contract, may not sign an extension with the team that acquires him right off the bat, which has complicated trade negotiations. If that’s the case, any trade may include conditional draft picks should Karlsson re-sign.

The Senators are believed to be looking for a similar package to what the Montreal Canadiens received for Pacioretty – a current NHL player, a top prospect and a high draft pick.

Trade talks are expected to continue and negotiations could progress even further in the coming days – a narrative the hockey world is all too familiar with.

In 71 games with the Senators last season, Karlsson registered nine goals and 53 assists for 62 points.

TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta contributed to this report.