Erik Karlsson said his status in Ottawa Senators remains the same. He is not worried that the team will trade him away. His comments came after General Manager Pierre Dorion said there is a possibility.
According to Dorion, he would listen to trade offers for Karlsson, although his priority is to re-sign his best player when the formal extension discussions can begin in July. However, he noted that Wayne Gretzky was traded once, so anything is possible, Ottawa Sun reported. The trade deadline is on Feb. 26, and a lot could still happen before that.
The Senators captain has been in the organization for nine years. Karlsson told the media that he has given everything he could possibly give to the team, and that is what is going to keep doing. The speculations about a possible trade come as a surprise to Karlsson, especially that he is still one and a half year away from the end of his contract.
Since the team has not been doing good recently and is at the bottom of the league, and with Karlsson becoming a free agent in 2019, trade rumors are flying out. Nonetheless, if he is going to be traded, the 27-year-old defenceman said it is not something he can control. It would not be his decision, so he will just do what he can do to be a better leader and a better NHL player.
Despite the rumors, his teammates said Karlsson is handling it pretty well. The speculations have not affected his performance negatively, according to Bobby Ryan.
Other NHL teams are also not expecting Ottawa to trade Karlsson before the deadline. Discussions about his future are expected to be a hot topic later in June, before the extension negotiations with him officially open on July 1.
Instead, the Senators might trade the 25-year-old center, Jean-Gabriel Pageau. While the Senators may not be ready to move him as of now, Sportsnet reported that he is one of the players other teams are coveting. Known for his defensive skills, Pageau has drawn interests from other teams, and one of the interested clubs is the Pittsburgh Penguins.