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Erik Karlsson trade talks picking up again: reports

Canucks deny interest in Senators defenseman

by Mike Battaglino / Staff Writer

Erik Karlsson trade talks are beginning to pick up again after going quiet in early July, according to multiple reports.

Sportsnet and TSN each reported Wednesday that discussions involving the Ottawa Senators defenseman have increased in the past few days.

"Teams with interest in Erik Karlsson have stepped up of late and talks are moving," Darren Dreger of TSN wrote.

The Vancouver Canucks may be among the teams now involved, Sportsnet said.

"Most likely destinations appear to be Western Conference," Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet wrote. "There is also a belief [Vancouver] has stepped in to see if it is a match."

Video: Erik Karlsson trade rumors are heating up again

Canucks general manager Jim Benning has denied their interest to Sportsnet reporter John Shannon.

"Teams talk about taking our young players or picks," Benning told the Vancouver Sun. "We have some depth in our prospect pool, but our future is about Brock Boeser, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Thatcher Demko and Olli Juolevi, I've not lost sight of that. … But if something (a trade) makes sense, I'm not doing my job (if I ignore it)."

Karlsson denied a report he was unwilling to sign a long-term contract with a Canada-based team, Sportsnet said Friday.

Karlsson was the subject of increasing trade rumors after he did not sign an eight-year contract extension reportedly offered by the Senators on July 1. The Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning are among the teams that reportedly made Ottawa an offer for the 28-year-old, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

Karlsson, the Senators captain, had 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists) last season, his fewest since 2012-13, when he played 17 games before tearing his Achilles tendon. He has won the Norris Trophy once and finished second in voting twice in the past four seasons.

Selected by the Senators in the first round (No. 15) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Karlsson has 518 points (126 goals, 392 assists) in 627 regular-season games and 37 points (six goals, 31 assists) in 48 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Tweet from @DarrenDreger: Clinging to remaining holidays, however, sources confirm teams with interest in Erik Karlsson have stepped up of late and talks are moving.

Tweet from @FriedgeHNIC: There is a sense today that Erik Karlsson trade talks have picked up in the last few days. Most likely destinations appear to be Western Conference. There is also a belief VAN has stepped in to see if it is a match. Tweet from @FriedgeHNIC: Erik Karlsson reached out to say: it is not accurate that he is unwilling to sign long-term with a Canadian team.

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