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Will Erik Karlsson be traded before the NHL Trade Deadline?

Karlsson Trade Betting Odds

The Ottawa Senators may be listening to offers for their captain and franchise player Erik Karlsson and the odds for him to be traded before the deadline are at +170 according to sportsbooks.

Online sportsbook Bovada is currently offering odds on Karlsson’s fate, with Yes to being traded at +170 and No at -250.

Why would Ottawa want to trade Erik Karlsson?

The Senators have been awful this season and are currently second last in the Eastern Conference. This is a huge fall from grace for the Sens, who came within one game of making the Stanley Cup final last season. The writing seems to be on the wall for Ottawa, which may be close to rebuild mode after dealing defenseman Dion Phaneuf and his $7-million cap hit to the Kings.

The Senators have made attempts to bolster their roster in recent memory by trading for Bobby Ryan and Matt Duchene but it seems that those acquisitions have blown up in their face (Ryan has 20 points in 39 games and Duchene has 37 points in 58 games this season). Duchene and Ryan combine for over $13 million in cap space this season.

Now, the Sens’ cap space is tied up with plugs and underperforming forwards.  With the clock ticking on the remainder of Karlsson’s contract (he’s a free agent after the 2018-19 season), Ottawa may be looking to gain a king’s ransom in return for arguably the best defenseman in the NHL.

Where could Karlsson be traded?

Pretty much all 30 remaining teams in the NHL would move mountains to get Karlsson in their lineup. The Swedish defenseman has a no-trade clause in his contract that states he must list 10 teams on a  “no-trade list.” As we won’t be privy to the teams he listed, this will be mere speculation and teams that could bend to the demands of the Senators would be few and far between (Vegas?).

The asking price would be enormous for a player of Karlsson’s caliber. Ottawa is expected to be looking for first-round picks and top-six forwards and for its trading partner to take on Ryan’s albatross of a contract ($7.25 million per year through the 2021-22 season). 

Karlsson has made it very clear to the Senators that he won’t be giving a hometown discount if he was to re-sign with Ottawa, so any team considering trading for him should go in thinking it would need to back up the Brinks truck to lock him up for the foreseeable future.

Will Erik Karlsson be traded before the Trade Deadline?
  • Yes +170
  • No -250
Odds as of February 23 at  Bovada