There were nothing but smiles in the visiting locker room last night at T-Mobile Arena. The Ottawa Senators battled for 60 minutes to beat the Golden Knights 5-4. The victory pushed the Senators to 22 wins and 52 points with just 19 games to play. That is, in a single word, bad. Which is probably why the Sens front office listened to any and all offers at the trade deadline. Including one from Vegas GM George McPhee, who inquired about their Norris winning defenseman.
That’s part of the business. I really didn’t know what really transpired or happened behind the scene. (The Golden Knights) were obviously one of the teams that was thrown out there a lot. They’re a good team and they were pushing for it, so nothing unexpected. -Erik Karlsson, OTT Captain
Karlsson was responding to a question I asked about his reaction when he heard about the Vegas chatter. The superstar Swede went on to discuss why free agents would seriously consider playing in Las Vegas.
It’s a great city and they have a great team. Their general manager McPhee, is a really good general manager and he’s been around for a long time. I think he’s going to build a good team, not only for now but the future as well. It’s definitely an attractive city. -Karlsson
Also rumored to be part of the Karlsson swap was Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan. Senators GM Pierre Dorion was attempting to unload Ryan’s $7.5M per season contract to whomever desired Karlsson. Possibly the reason why a deal with the Golden Knights fell through. I asked Ryan about his trade deadline anxiety.
Ultimately you don’t want to be in the conversation because that means you and your team aren’t doing the right things. -Bobby Ryan, OTT Forward
The negotiations must’ve gotten deep because Ryan reached out to a former teammate to get the 411.
I got some friends over there and Luca Sbisa is one of my closest. So we kinda talked about it. It would be nice to get back together in that regard. -Ryan
Sbisa and Ryan played together in Anaheim from 2009 to 2013. They’ve remained tight friends ever since. Still though, the 30-year-old stressed he’s happy playing in Ottawa.
I’m happy my name didn’t get called on Monday. I’m just happy to stay. -Ryan
Both players spoke highly about the city and the Golden Knights organization. In fact, they almost acted like they would’ve enjoyed playing for Vegas. Karlsson even gave McPhee a shoutout. Maybe they got to know each other in a text thread started by Ottawa’s GM.
Which has now been deleted.