Does Lightning Future Include Koekkoek?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or purposefully avoiding social media for the past few weeks, you’ve heard about the #Karlssonwatch.

Ottawa Senators Captain, All-Star, and Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson is rumored to be on the move.  There were plenty of rumors that Karlsson would be moved at the deadline, but the Senators decided to stick to their guns and keep him in place.  Now, however, is a much different story.

It’s been rumored for a while now that Karlsson wanted out of Ottawa.  The big event that brought these rumors to a head though was Karlsson’s wife Melinda filing for a peace bond against the fiancé of another Senators player Mike Hoffman.

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This was an incredibly dark and ugly event and there are far too many details to talk about here.  If you want to read up on what exactly happened, FanSided NHL did a great recap of all the details and events, which can be found here.

The result of all of this was Hoffman being traded and rumors of Karlsson being traded heating up once again.  For the sake of a semi-coherent timeline, this is where we’ll start for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

After Hoffman was traded, the Senators extended a rather embarrassing contract offer to Karlsson of $10 million for eight years.  This came right on the heels of the Los Angeles Kings signing their star defenseman Drew Doughty to an eight-year $11 million deal.  It seems that $11 million is the price for stars now as John Tavares signed the same deal for one less year with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It may not seem like just one million less would be that big of a deal, but it most definitely is.  This offer is coming from a team that has treated Karlsson poorly, is embedded in multiple controversies, and will likely go through another rough season on the ice next year.

Tampa Bay Lightning Fanatics Branded Breakaway Home Jersey - Blue
Tampa Bay Lightning Fanatics Branded Breakaway Home Jersey - Blue

If the Senators really wanted to keep Karlsson, this extension was the perfect opportunity to show Karlsson that they valued him and wanted to give him his worth.  Instead, they lowballed him, and this offer was regarded by many as a formality.

The @Senators offered Erik Karlsson an 8 year contract extension for $10M per season. Now they are in serious trade talks with multiple teams highly interested. #NHLNews

— Kathryn Tappen (@KathrynTappen) July 3, 2018

For a while, it seemed that the Dallas Stars were the frontrunners to land Karlsson.  Some “insiders” went as far as to say that it was basically a done deal.  However, these rumors soon quieted after the Star’s reported refusal to include top defensive prospect Miro Heiskanen in the deal.

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