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New York Islanders: Erik Karlsson Wants to Play in US

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 10: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators waits for a puck drop against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 10: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators waits for a puck drop against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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TAMPA, FL – MARCH 13: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators looks on during a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on March 13, 2018 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders need help defensively. And it seems that Erik Karlsson is only willing to move to the US. Can the Isles get a deal done?

It is being widely reported that Erik Karlsson only wants to sign an extension with a US-based team. He wants out of Canada to play south of the border. The New York Islanders are an American based team that plays in the biggest market in North America. They meet that non-Canadian requirement.

The Islanders issues on the blueline from last season were well documented. They finished 31st out of 31 teams in goals against with 296 and finished 31st our 31 teams in goaltending with an average combined 3.55GAA and .903SV%. Defensively speaking the Islanders were atrocious.

In 2018-19 the Islanders were bleeding shots against, they were bleeding goals, and seemingly had no defensive structure to speak of. It was an absolute mess.

With Barry Trotz coming over from the Washington Capitals the Islanders defense is immediately better. Before a puck is even dropped. With Trotz, the Islanders get a guy with 19 years of NHL coaching experience. He knows how to set up a defense, and he knows how to win.

Adding Erik Karlsson to Trotz’s system would improve the Islanders defense immeasurably. Karlsson is without question the best defenseman of his generation. He’s been a Norris finalist four times winning it twice in his eight-year NHL career.

But before we start dreaming we have to answer three questions:
-Could the Islanders make a trade work?
-Would he come?
-Where would he fit?

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