Even with the poor season that the Ottawa Senators have had so far, it seems like it is only getting worse. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion made a fascinating comment on TSN 1200 Thursday afternoon in an interview. The comment left the Senators fanbase feeling confusion and nervousness.
After listening to owner Eugene Melnyk‘s comments on the franchise prior to the NHL 100 classic game, this is the last thing fans want to hear.
Pierre Dorion Comments on Erik Karlsson‘s Future
According to reports, the Senators have started to listen to offers for many different players. Mike Hoffman is one of the biggest names on the roster involved in trade rumours. However, the Senators aren’t ruling out a potential deal on superstar defender Erik Karlsson after Dorion’s comments on Thursday.
Almost every team in the NHL has a player they can’t afford to lose. For the Ottawa Senators, that player is Karlsson. The Senators should not explore trading their best player. However, when the team’s general manager says they are looking into something like that, there is usually something that’s brewing behind the scenes.
With the rough season the Senators have had, one would think the last thing the team would want is to trade their best player. Sens fans could name pretty much the whole team as trade bait ahead of Erik Karlsson. Karlsson sits with 30 points in 38 games, he missed the first five games of the season after recovering from off-season surgery.
Why the Ottawa Senators Might Be Exploring a Trade
With a dynamic and franchise player in Erik Karlsson, many are left to think why the Ottawa Senators might even explore a trade. The answer is complicated, yet makes sense when you dive into the Ottawa Senators history.
When the Ottawa Senators signed Erik Karlsson to his current deal in 2012, it was a risk worth taking. Five years down the line, the captain has played up to the standards. His contract wasn’t exactly expensive. The Senators saw something in Karlsson and decided to put all their chips in. Fast forward to present day, not only has Karlsson lived up to his expectations, he’s surpassed them. Karlsson is one of, if not the best defenders in the league.
After having a successful season last year, both for himself and team, one would think Karlsson is in it for the long haul with Ottawa. The captain has said his first interest is to remain with the Senators.
The problem doesn’t lie with Erik Karlsson. It’s in Eugene Melnyk. With the quality of Karlsson’s play throughout his career, it was obvious the Senators had to bring the money truck when his current contract comes to an end. Melnyk has shown an unwillingness to spend the money necessary in an number of other instances.
Trading Erik Karlsson would bring a huge haul for a team where a retool may be necessary. The Senators have to set a clear direction, either they try and win with Karlsson, or they trade him on the hopes of getting better for the foreseeable future. Eugene Melnyk’s unwillingness to spend money could cost the Senators their best player.
Why the Ottawa Senators Should Not Trade Erik Karlsson
Although the Senators have been underachieving, they shouldn’t be on the spot they are right now. With all the speculation on the team going forward, general manager’s Pierre Dorion comments come at a rough time. With the Senators playoff chances looking bleak through 43 games, the team is looking at solutions for next season.
However, trading Erik Karlsson might not be the answer to their struggles. It has been awhile since the Ottawa Senators have had a player of his calibre. He has been the best player on the team for quite some time. Karlsson has been an absolute machine for the Senators on the offensive end, ranking second in franchise history for assists.
Since the 2011-12 season, Karlsson ranks near the top of the team list in virtually every category. He sits first on the team in points with 415 in 459 games, ahead of former Sens forward Kyle Turris, who is second with 274 points in 407 games. It is a 200 plus point lead for the captain. Karlsson ranks second in points per game with 0.90, second only to Jason Spezza with 0.97.
Not only has Karlsson brought success and excitement to the team, he’s turned into the superstar he is today. Trading him would signal that there is a long road ahead, for management and fans of the team.
Pierre Dorion will get a huge return if he decides to trade his captain, but he’ll have to wait a little longer for his team to return to their normal self. The problem going ahead to next season is the depth on the team, as it’s been one of the reasons the Senators have struggled this year.
The Ottawa Senators have to decide what they’re going to do and do it fast. Or this whole speculation is going to get worse and come back to bite them down the road. Re-signing a franchise player should be a priority for Pierre Dorion, not trading him to start a bigger re-tool than his club needs.