Erik Karlsson. (Photo: Getty Images)

What a difference a month has made in the NHL's offseason. As the calendar flipped to July, the idea of Ottawa Senators defenseman and captain Erik Karlsson being traded seemed like a sure thing. 

After all, the league's summer started out with a huge bang as big names like John Tavares and Paul Stastny switched teams via free agency on the very first day of free agency in what looked like an appetizer to an offseason of wheeling and dealing. 

The possible trading of Karlsson looked to be the marquee move of the year though as the rebuilding Senators were taking calls on the two-time Norris Trophy winner. 

 

It was even reported that the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars were tantalizingly close in getting a deal done with Ottawa. 

However, the month of July came and went and Karlsson —who has a year on his deal left before becoming an unrestricted free agent — remains a Senator with no move in sight as of yet.

In fact, Joe Smith of the Athletic reported at the end of July that talks of a trade for Karlsson were never really that close. 

There is no indication that talks will pick back up anytime soon, either. For Senators fans who are hopeful that he'll stay in Ottawa, don't count on it. Karlsson has already turned down an eight-year extension from the team. 

It seems as though the rest of the league has been waiting for the Karlsson move to spark the market back into motion. The only sizable move of note over the past few weeks was the Carolina Hurricanes trading forward Jeff Skinner to the Buffalo Sabres. 

That won't be much for the average fan to get excited about. 

When could an Erik Karlsson trade be done?

But the Senators don't need to be in much of a rush right now to deal Karlsson. In all likelihood, this will be a sign-and-trade deal of sorts where the Swede would have to agree to an extension before the trade is made. It ensures Ottawa gets a maximum return to help its rebuilding process while Karlsson bolsters the blueline of whichever contender ponies up enough to spark a deal. 

That would give general manager Pierre Dorion until the February trade deadline to work something out and there will be no shortage of interest as the Lightning and Stars would likely return to the fold as should the Vegas Golden Knights. 

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