To put it simply, the Ottawa Senators are a bit of a dumpster fire.

But one thing they do have is cap room. So, could they use that flexibility to coax Erik Karlsson back to Ottawa?

The defenseman reportedly is hoping so.

Karlsson, who was traded to the San Jose Sharks from the Senators last offseason, will hit unrestricted free agency July 1. He’s expected to have quite a few suitors, and his cryptic tweet after San Jose’s season ended seems to indicate his time in the Bay Area might be done.

And according to the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan, Karlsson is hoping the Sens and Montreal Canadiens present him with “competitive offers.”

Wrote Brennan:

“While the two-time Norris Trophy winner is expected to be the most coveted free agent available when the market opens on July 1, a well-connected source says that he hopes to receive competitive offers from two teams in particular — the Senators and the Montreal Canadiens.

Why?

Because his wife, Melinda, who was born and raised in Ottawa, is “homesick” and would very much like to live close to her family again.

Good reason.

While Toronto and Buffalo are also relatively close to Canada’s capital, the source says that, as far as he knows, they’re not on the Karlsson’s list.

The Canadiens narrowly missed the postseason this campaign, so they are more in a position to win now than the Senators. But Ottawa does have a decent crop of prospects, so if Karlsson is willing to accept losing in the short-term, there may be a payoff in the long run.

Thumbnail photo via Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports Images