Rival teams don’t expect the Ottawa Senators to trade defencemen Erik Karlsson prior to the Feb. 26 trade deadline, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos.
“Teams that may have had conversations with [Senators general manager Pierre] Dorion about Karlsson don’t expect him to be moved coming up at the trade deadline,” Kypreos said Saturday during the Headlines segment of Hockey Day In Canada. “A lot of teams would not give up a big portion of their future unless they know for sure what contract demands he would have.”
The 27-year-old Karlsson — four goals, 31 points in 39 games — has been at the centre of trade speculation this season. He’ll be a free agent in 2019 and figures to be in line for a huge contract. The Senators can officially open extension negotiations with him this July, and at that point the club will have a clearer idea whether they can retain the team captain or not.
“A lot of teams are telling me they expect the hottest topic come draft day, late June, will be Karlsson’s future,” said Kypreos.
Ottawa dropped Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3, and sits second-last in the Atlantic Division with 39 points.
One player who could in fact be dealt from the team in the coming weeks is 25-year-old centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has drawn interest from rival teams, says Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, adding the Sens have even fielded an offer from one club.
“It’s not a move that Ottawa is prepared to make at this point but [he’s] certainly a player among a couple there that other teams are coveting.”
The Pittsburgh Penguins are one such team looking hard at him, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
Pageau, known for his defensive skills, has six goals and 15 points in 42 games this season. He didn’t play in Saturday’s game and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.