Erik Karlsson trade talks pick up, Canucks interested

Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson. (Tom Mihalek/CP)

Trade talks for Ottawa Senators superstar defenceman Erik Karlsson have picked up recently and there is belief the Vancouver Canucks have interest, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Trade rumours have surrounded Karlsson, 28, for months. He will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2018-19 campaign and figures to command a massive contract.

Last December, he opened up about hitting free agency, telling the Ottawa Sun, “When I go to market, I’m going to get what I’m worth, and it’s going to be no less, no matter where I’m going.”

Karlsson struggled at times during the 2017-18 campaign, scoring just nine goals and 62 points across 71 games. It was his lowest point total in a full season since 2010-11, when he tallied 45 points. He was also a minus-25 for the Senators, who finished seventh in the Atlantic Division and missed the playoffs.

The Canucks represent an interesting fit for Karlsson, a nine-year veteran and two-time Norris Trophy winner. The club is clearly in a rebuilding phase and has not made the post-season since 2014-15. The Canucks posted a 31-40-11 record (73 points) last season under first-year head coach Travis Green, finishing seventh in the Pacific Division.

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