A little while ago I wrote an article about whether the Vegas Golden Knights needed to pursue John Tavares this summer, and now that situation is over after he signed a huge deal to go home to Toronto, is there a different big name Vegas need to go after?
Obviously Erik Karlsson is less than happy in Ottawa, I’m sure it’s a lovely city, I’ve never been but I’m sure it’s a nice city, just a toxic environment within the Senators organisation.
Now more than ever it looks like the Senators captain will be on his way out of the Canadian capital after reports the team are allowing interested teams to open contract talks with the 28-year-old.
Vegas are a team consistently in rumours to be interested in the two-time Norris Trophy winner, at the trade deadline they were apparently the closest to pulling off a deal only for it to fall through at the last minute.
So do Vegas need to rekindle these talks?
When I wrote my piece about if they needed John Tavares my feeling was no, Vegas could use him, anyone could he’s a superstar, but Vegas don’t need him.
But I think they need Erik Karlsson…for the right price.
They certainly have the cap space available, especially after James Neal moved on to Calgary and David Perron moved back to St Louis.
The issue for Vegas is making sure they don’t deplete their prospect pool in any trade for the Sens captain. Cody Glass for example would probably be a guy Ottawa want in return, but he’s the Golden Knights best prospect, and with such a small pool of drafted prospects right now, they can ill afford to let too many go.
But let’s look at 2019 draft picks, they’ve got their own first, two picks in the second and three in the third. It’d be great to use them to build a strong depth going forward, but that wouldn’t be a bad thing to throw into the trade.
Vegas didn’t really have any areas needing improvement last year. They had one of the best goals per game ratios in the league last year, and one of the lowest goals against per game ratio.
But a big reason for such a good defensive year for the first year team came in the form of Marc-Andre Fleury who’s entering the final year of his contract and will turn 34 early in the season.
Right now the team don’t have a real up and coming prospect goalie, so while they continue the search for MAF’s potential replacement, getting Karlsson in the mix to just hold the fort for a bit while they line up their next goalie is nothing but a great thing.
With the greatest of respect to the members of the Golden Knights roster last year, the team were without a real superstar. They had emerging stars like William Karlsson who’s 40 goal season defied all expectations of him, but they had no real superstar.
And look at what they achieved going at it that way.
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Add one of the greatest players on the planet who’s good for consistent 60+ point seasons, how much does that elevate a team that need to make sure year 1 wasn’t a one off, more the start of continued promise and potential.
The return for Erik Karlsson is the biggest question mark about making this deal work.
It’s unlikely Karlsson spends this year in Ottawa and walks in free agency next summer so it’s now or never for interested teams.
We could see a sign and trade happen as teams are being allowed to explore that avenue right now, but when a deal gets done sill remains a mystery.
If you look at the defensive unit for Vegas right now, they have decent players but no real star.
Karlsson immediately upgrades any team, especially Vegas.
They need to go after him, but also need to avoid being fleeced in any deal.