Last night, rumors swirled that Ottawa and Tampa Bay had agreed in principle to a trade involving Erik Karlsson. Of course, it was refuted by reliable TSN source Elliotte Friedman.
Quite honestly, I’ve had enough of the Karlsson stuff. We all know he’s not returning to Ottawa due to all the distractions, which include a cheapskate owner, Eugene Melnyk. There is no chance they re-sign him next summer. He’s going to get around $11.5 million on average for his next contract.
Complicating matters, the Senators want to dump Bobby Ryan’s awful contract on someone. Might it be the Rangers, who have been mentioned as part of the process to completing a huge transaction. The Lightning need a third team involved to dump salary. Whether it be Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, or Alex Killorn, they have to find a creative way to make it work to add Karlsson to a blueline that already features Victor Hedman, recently extended Ryan McDonagh and talented Russian Mikhail Sergachev.
If the Rangers are the third team, they’d absorb salary. It could be Ryan’s nightmarish contract or former Black and Blueshirt Callahan, who has two years remaining. I’m in favor of a Captain Cally return if they’re involved due to his experience here as a former captain. While he isn’t the player he was when Glen Sather traded him in 2014 to Tampa for Marty St. Louis, he still plays the same gritty, physical style that made him so popular. Even after all the injuries, he was one of the Lightning’s best players last Spring. A strong forechecker, who hits and sacrifices the body to block shots, he’s a good example for younger players to follow on how to play the game.
I want no part of Ryan unless it means high picks and prospects. Any trade the Rangers are in on regarding Karlsson should result in them at least obtaining draft picks with whatever contract they take back. They’d be doing a solid for Tampa or Ottawa. Maybe they could even pry a good prospect. I’m not holding out blind faith that they could get Cal Foote or Taylor Raddysh like some unrealistic fans.
There was also talk of the Devils becoming the third team. Why they would want any part I don’t know. Unless it landed them a decent scoring option such as Killorn or Tyler Johnson, it wouldn’t be worth it. The Devils have done their usual, which is nothing so far. Something Hasan well documented in total frustration. He’s right. You come off a feel good year where Taylor Hall becomes the first Devil to win the Hart by carrying the team into the postseason for the first time since 2012 and do nothing?
In the event Karlsson is finally traded today to the Lightning, it would be so predictable. Another big fish landing in Tampa where they somehow make it work. Is this good for hockey? Absolutely not. As much as we mock the NBA for what it’s become, the Lightning adding Karlsson to an already loaded roster that also includes Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point is sickening. How many more big salaries can they fit in?
Pretty soon, we’ll be referring to them as the Tampa Warriors. I wish I was kidding. This is no game. Not when they’re bumping up J.T. Miller for another five years at a average cap hit of $5.25 million. And McDonagh stays for less than $7 million over the next half a decade. It’s nightmarish.
Remember all that talk from the fraud Gary Bettman about “cost certainty.” What a load of bs that was. There needs to be a different kind of cap. Or a better system because the current one is falling apart.
Tampa is about to have a super team. They’ll become the most hated in the game. Remember how much the Rangers were hated pre-lockout for all the outlandish contracts they handed out along with the creative trades that took advantage of teams? That was a different system. There was no salary cap with a floor or ceiling. This is worse. The ramifications could result in a third lockout.