Sens fans exhale as Karlsson stays past trade deadline

Senators fans breathed a collective sigh of relief Monday afternoon as the NHL's trade deadline passed and Erik Karlsson remained with the team — at least for now.

Senators captain was rumoured to be on trading block, but Monday's deadline came and went

Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson is staying with the team after Monday's NHL trade deadline. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Senators fans breathed a collective sigh of relief Monday afternoon as the NHL's trade deadline passed and Erik Karlsson remained with the team — at least for now.

There had been serious speculation that the Sens captain and Norris Trophy-winning defenceman was on the trading block, with his team's chances of making the playoffs only a distant mathematical possibility.

Multiple reports indicated the team was in discussions to trade Karlsson, but none of those potential deals came together before Monday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.

Online, Sens fans were anxious about the potential move as the deadline approached.

There were reports that expansion franchise Las Vegas Golden Knights were in the running for the star, but at 3 p.m. ET nothing had been announced and it was quickly confirmed that Karlsson would stay. 

The lack of trade news didn't change Sens fans' view of the team's owner, however: many fans have called for Eugene Melnyk to sell the team

Karlsson's contract is up at the end of next season, but he and the team can begin negotiating a new one on July 1. However many fans expect the captain will be moved over the summer, so there's plenty of time for more speculation.