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Just How Close Were The Golden Knights To Getting Erik Karlsson And How Might It Effect This Deadline

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Every trade deadline is its own separate crazy event, but because the decision makers are indeed human, often times emotions from one can spill over into another. That certainly may be the case with the Golden Knights and Ottawa Senators following last year’s trade negotiations for Erik Karlsson.

Those negotiations from a club vs. club perspective can be a little bit damaging. The general manager is always going to do what is going to make his club better, but if we want to look at that Vegas/Ottawa scenario last year… when you don’t get that player, can you imagine the level of frustration from that management group because you feel you pissed away a better part of your day. And then they end up making the Tatar trade as a knee-jerk, right? -Darren Dreger, TSN

I happened to be walking into George McPhee’s office half an hour after the San Jose Sharks acquisition of Erik Karlsson got announced during training camp… George McPhee was very careful with what he said but the steam coming out of his ears could not be hidden. Because they tried at the deadline, then they tried again all summer, and they didn’t get him. -Pierre LeBrun, TSN

Three of the most connected insiders in the world of hockey are Bob McKenzie, Pierre LeBrun, and Darren Dreger. They all got together for an episode of McKenzie’s podcast, the BobCast.

The conversation was certainly not centered on the Golden Knights, and while being used as an example, the three shared some intriguing info on just how “close” the deal was.

Was Erik Karlsson close to being a Vegas Golden Knight? The Ottawa Senators would say ‘no’ because their definition of close in that situation is that the offer that Vegas had on the table wasn’t close to what they were willing to accept. But the fact that it was going down to the last hour, minutes, whatever it was leading up to the deadline, Vegas felt like they were close to being able to get something done. Close is in the eye of the beholder. -McKenzie

The main point was that if McPhee is interested in Mark Stone, there could be lingering issues standing in the way of getting that deal done.

Probably a bit of tension there between Ottawa and Vegas there on future deals. -LeBrun

But McPhee is not new to this business so he’s certainly navigated these waters before.

Aside from the potential impact on Stone, it shouldn’t be lost just how interested the Golden Knights were in Karlsson.

I hope that no one out there actually doubts that he was nearly a Vegas Golden Knight. -LeBrun

If Vegas had changed one player in the deal, it could have been done. -McKenzie

We’ll never know what the package that was offered to Ottawa truly was, but it’ll forever be in the mind of George McPhee (and all of us) of what could have been if he would have made that final concession to get the deal done.


SinBin Radio – CBS Sports Radio 1140 – 02/23/19


Deal or No Deal? Should The Golden Knights Make A Move?


  1. Larry

    Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve. It doesn’t matter at this point, move forward now and TRY to put something together for today.

  2. vgk2019

    He should have been targeting Ryan McDonough instead. He is a 2 way dman who is good in all zones, while Karlsson is a dzone liability. McDonough is PLUS 169 in his career. Karlsson is MINUS 31 in his career.

    iow, McDonough is 200 goals better than Karlsson. Tampa got McDonough, and look at them now.

  3. status quo

    It looks like McPhee is going to do absolutely nothing to improve his team, or even shake up his team. Apparently 7 losses in the last 8 home games are not even enough to get him out of his frozen fear.

    I guess he is waiting for real super players like Martin Erat and Tomas Tatar to become available, right George?

    • Mike

      I think you might be right in McPhee not doing anything this time around either and I can see why he wouldn’t. You have to admit, even if he got a very good player as a rental, would that make the Knights a Stanley Cub contender? Personally I don’t see it. So would it be wise then to give up some good players and or prospects? That being said, I’m still happy that the Knights in year two should make the playoffs…puts a dagger in the hearts of the naysayers! GO KNIGHTS!!!!!

  4. Cody

    Pretty obvious he dangled Suzuki and Ottawa was asking for Glass. Good move to say no. Club got to the Final, and Karlsson has been in and out of San Jo’s lineup. Also the Sharks will do nothing in playoffs as always. Some of the worst goaltending in the league.

  5. not knowing what was offerred, the deal the deal they didnt make was the best move

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