NHL Trade Rumors: New York Rangers Could Be Top Contender For Erik Karlsson As Senators Go Into Fire Sale Mode

The NHL trade rumors surrounding the Ottawa Senators are getting hotter as the team continues to stay cold, with reports that star Erik Karlsson could be headed a bit further east to the New York Rangers.

The Senators have followed up their trip to the Eastern Conference Finals with a disappointing start, sitting near the bottom of the Atlantic Division and losing 12 of its last 13 games. Amid the early season swoon, Sportsnet reported that the Senators have asked all 10 players with no-trade clauses for a list of teams they would be willing to be traded to, and chief among that group is Karlsson.

The 27-year-old Karlsson has already been looking ahead to when he becomes a free agent following the 2018-19 season, and made it clear he's looking for a huge deal.

"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," he told the Ottawa Sun (via Sportsnet).

That does not look good for Karlsson staying with the Ottawa Senators, which has fueled the trade rumors as the team continues to stumble. The NHL trade rumors have focused on the New York Rangers as a good fit for Karlsson, and the SB Nation blog Blueshirt Banter explored what it would take for the Rangers to land the defenseman. The report noted that the Rangers and Senators have been frequent trade partners, so already have a rapport to get the trade talks started.

The price for Erik Karlsson would be another issue. As the report noted, it may take a deal that includes prospect Brady Skjei as well as a 2019 first-round draft pick for the Senators to part with Karlsson, but history may be a barrier. The Senators have come out on the losing end of a number of deals in recent years, so may be a bit more wary to get rid of one of the best defensemen in the NHL without getting a big haul in return.

Whatever the case, the NHL trade rumors surrounding Erik Karlsson are likely to grow even louder if the Ottawa Senators continue to linger in the bottom of the Atlantic Division, and many believe he will be moved ahead of the trade deadline next year.