Vegas Golden Knights
Why they make sense: The Vegas Golden Knights reportedly nearly traded for Erik Karlsson at the 2018 NHL trade deadline. They have everything you want from a team interested in him. Vegas has cap space, tons of draft picks, and the ability to eat Bobby Ryan’s contract.
Feasible trade: The Golden Knights would take on Ryan’s deal. I can’t see how Vegas nearly got Karlsson other than by offering to take on his teammate’s albatross contract. Ryan has a no-movement clause, but who wouldn’t forfeit it to play in Sin City?
Vegas would give up their 2019 first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick, and 2017 first-round pick Nick Suzuki. They’d probably have to give up a little bit more, but this is a very good start. Vegas would have to work around not having many prospects or NHL ready players. That said, what about the Golden Knights has made sense so far? Nothing.
Why it won’t happen: Yes, Vegas would trade for Karlsson! However, they’d proceed to flip him to the Pittsburgh Penguins because that’s apparently what they like doing. You’d hope the Senators wouldn’t be dumb enough to minimize the return for Karlsson by attaching Ryan’shorrible contract to the trade. But this is the same team who willingly traded a top prospect for Alexandre Burrows.