Late Sunday night, the Montreal Canadiens (finally) traded consistent 65-point forward Max Pacioretty. The Habs sent him to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for Tomas Tatar, 2017 first round pick Nick Suzuki and a second round pick in 2019. This leaves the NHL trade rumor mill focused solely on the Ottawa Senators and what they’re going to do with two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson.
Karlsson, 28, has one year left on his contact with a cap hit of $6.5 million. The Nashville Predators have just over $7.6 million in cap space projected for the 2018-19 season which means, in theory, they could add Karlsson to the roster without giving up any salary in order to do so.
The Preds hardly need to bolster a defense corps that already features the likes of Roman Josi, PK Subban, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm. And, let’s be honest, if some combination of Dan Hamhuis, Yannick Weber, Anthony Bitetto and Matt Irwin is your bottom pairing, you’re just doing fine.
But what if? What if the Senators called up General Manager David Poile and offered up Karlsson? What would Poile be willing to give up in order to have two former Norris Trophy winners — both in their prime, by the way — on his team?
Now what if you were Poile?
I took to Twitter on Monday morning to ask that very question. I didn’t want responses based on Karlsson signing an extension while others assumed he wouldn’t so I included some parameters. I made it clear that, for this exercise, Karlsson would not sign an extension under any circumstances and, therefore, whatever trade you were proposing had to be done with the understanding that the Preds would have him for one year and one year only. In addition, whatever you would give up had to be your absolute limit. Meaning, if you put “Dante Fabbro and a 1st round pick” but Ottawa countered with “throw in a sixth round pick and you’ve got a deal,” you’d hang up the phone.
Keep in mind, this has nothing to do with whether the Sens would take the deal. It’s only about what your limit, as Nashville, would be. That was the exercise.
Let’s just say the responses spanned the entire spectrum. A sampling of the feedback — in no particular order — is below.
2019 first, 2020 first, 2019 3 or 4th, Patrick Harper, Allard.
— Paul Peterson (@SP_Peterson6) September 10, 2018
1st round pick, Craig Smith, Dante Fabbro, Patrick Harper
— Shaee Flatt (@shaee_flatt) September 10, 2018
I can’t justify it. While Preds are stacked in top 6 and have best D corps in a while, I can’t justify making the trade at all. Prospect cupboard is getting thin, and draft picks are needed to backfill. Preds aren’t desperate enough to make the move.
— Codey H. (@codeyh) September 10, 2018
I don’t think the need for him outweighs the rental price. No matter what it is, to be honest.
— sports are the worst (@PredsandStuff) September 10, 2018
1st rounder, Eeli Tolvanen, Yakov Trenin, Jack Dougherty
— Josh Wegman (@JoshWegman18) September 10, 2018
Fabs (don’t want a vesey repeat) Fiala (worried about the first ufa contract and hoping tolaven can replace him) and a first.
— Rev. Col.Brian Cox (@b_cox9) September 10, 2018
I wouldn’t give up jack. We don’t need him that bad. Period
— Al Barman (@bluesbrotherjak) September 10, 2018
C. Smith. Prospect. 2020 second round pick.
— goldie glocks (@TaylorD_0ne) September 10, 2018
Carrier pitlick 2nd amd 3rd
— Poiles’ smokescreen (@Predwin14) September 10, 2018
GRAPHIC: Kevin Klimek