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.