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Karlsson could be traded to Lightning: report

Defenseman, with contract offer from Senators, can seek extension elsewhere @NHLdotcom

Erik Karlsson could be traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Ottawa Sun reported Thursday.

The 28-year-old defenseman was given permission by the Ottawa Senators to talk to other teams about a contract extension, Sportsnet confirmed Monday. 

The Dallas Stars, who reportedly were in talks with Karlsson on Tuesday, could be out of the running since they appear unwilling to include Miro Heiskanen, the No. 3 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, in any package for Karlsson, according to The Athletic.


[RELATED: Karlsson belongs in Ottawa, former Senators captain says]


Karlsson has one season remaining on a seven-year contract and could become an unrestricted free agent after the 2018-19 season. The Senators offered Karlsson a contract extension Sunday, but it is unknown if he wants to remain there.

If Karlsson reaches an understanding with another team, that team and the Senators would have to work out an acceptable trade, Sportsnet said.

Terms of the Senators' contract offer were not disclosed. Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty signed an eight-year, $88 million contract Sunday that could set the market for Karlsson.

"We don't really want to talk about roster players, contract negotiations, trades, all these things, but I think we owe it to our fans and we made a promise at the town hall that we would make a contract offer to Erik Karlsson and we've done so," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said Sunday.

Dorion said the Senators would offer Karlsson an eight-year contract extension July 1 during an April 10 town hall event for fans. 

Asked about Karlsson's reaction to the Senators' offer, Dorion said, "We're not going there."

Karlsson had 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists) in 71 games for the Senators last season. He has led Ottawa in points, or finished tied for the lead, each of the past five seasons.

The captain of the Senators since 2014, Karlsson is a two-time Norris Trophy winner (2012, 2015) and finished second in 2016 and 2017. He's been voted to the NHL First All-Star Team four times (2012, 2015-17).

The Senators (25-45-12) finished 15th in the Eastern Conference last season, 30 points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs, one season after losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

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.

The Senators traded forward Mike Hoffman last month a week after the Ottawa Citizen reported that Karlsson's wife, Melinda, filed an application for a peace bond against Hoffman's fiancee, Monika Caryk, alleging harassment and cyberbullying that occurred last season and continued after the Karlssons' son, Axel, was stillborn. Hoffman has denied the allegations.

Tweet from @SunDoniB: #Senators .... Is Erik Karlsson on his way to the Tampa Bay Lightning?

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