The Dallas Stars are seen as the front-runners in the Erik Karlsson sweepstakes, but the Columbus Blue Jackets have also contacted the Ottawa Senators about a potential trade for the superstar defenseman, according to The Athletic's Aaron Portzline.
League sources told Portzline that the Blue Jackets are unlikely to do a deal unless the Senators lower their asking price.
With reports claiming that forward Artemi Panarin has declined to speak about a potential contract extension with the Blue Jackets, he would make sense as a piece in a potential trade for Karlsson. The Senators, however, reportedly aren't interested in Panarin because he'll be a free agent at the end of next season.
Columbus currently has over $14 million in cap space and will have over $36 million next season, enough to ink a potential contract extension with Karlsson.