There’s no question the biggest fish available at the trade deadline was Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson. A two-time Norris Trophy winner, Karlsson is one of the best players in the game today and carries an entirely manageable $6.5 million cap hit through the 2018-19 season.

At the end of his current contract he’ll be UFA-eligible and, considering the salary cap is about to rise, he could become the highest-paid player in the NHL at that time.

“When I go to market, I’m going to get what I’m worth, and it’s going to be no less, no matter where I’m going,” Karlsson told the Ottawa Sun in December. That was prompted by a Drew Doughty quote in which the Kings defender said he would discuss the market with Karlsson, since the two high-end blueliners will be UFA-eligible in the same off-season.

Even after the rumours raged on Saturday and speculation persisted through the day on Monday, Karlsson wasn’t traded by the 3 p.m. ET deadline. But if you thought the relationship between team and player was beyond repair and a split was inevitable, Karlsson poured a little cold water on that theory Tuesday.