The Ottawa Senators were within a goal of the Stanley Cup Final last season. On the backs of heroic performances by Erik Karlsson and Craig Anderson, a trapping, defensive team pushed the Pittsburgh Penguins to the brink of elimination before bowing out in double overtime of game seven. That had fans of the team excited about this season, and pushing for GM Pierre Dorion to add to a team that was close to the Stanley Cup.

As former NHL executive Frank Provenzano notes for The Athletic though, thinking your team is close to winning it all after one unexpected playoff run can be dangerous. Provenzano is among the first (of what is sure to be many) to suggest what had previously been unthinkable: perhaps it’s time to consider trading Karlsson.

Just a few weeks ago the Senators went out and added Matt Duchene, bringing in a former Olympian who was expected to kick-start their offense. The fact that he had just a year and a half left on his deal (coincidentally the same length as Karlsson) didn’t matter, as they were close enough that he could push them over the edge right away. They needed to move out Kyle Turris (and several other pieces) to do so, but he seemed unlikely to re-sign with the team after this season when he became an unrestricted free agent. The problem there is, as Craig Button screamed into the radio airwaves yesterday on TSN 1050, “they traded a better player for a lesser player.” Button believes Turris is better than Duchene right now, and the early returns would back him up.