A few weeks ago, there was so much buzz around an Erik Karlsson deal that a league-altering trade seemed inevitable. But as we approach August, the two-time Norris Trophy winner is still with the Ottawa Senators.
That leaves the door open for a number of teams to swoop in and either become a Stanley Cup favorite or set themselves up for a future of competitive hockey.
Let's have a look at how each contender for Karlsson's services could be improved by adding him.
Why they need Karlsson: To win in the Tyler Seguin era
Key stat: One playoff series win since acquiring Seguin
Stars general manager Jim Nill pulled off one of the all-time trade steals when he acquired Seguin from the Boston Bruins. Since the superstar center landed in Dallas in 2013-14, only Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have more goals scored. However, the Stars have only reached the second round of the playoffs once with Seguin on the roster.
Depending on the season, goaltending or depth scoring generally caught the brunt of the blame, but the Stars haven't had an elite defenseman during Seguin's tenure. While they still don't have the deepest group of forwards, the combination of Karlsson and John Klingberg would give Dallas the most dangerous set of offensive-minded defenders in the NHL and a great shot at reaching their full potential with Seguin in his prime. Another factor to keep in mind: Seguin's contract is up after this season. Even if it couldn't work out a long-term deal, Dallas could go all-in on Karlsson as a win-now rental.