Skip to content
Erik Karlsson: the Penguins will continue to work hard to acquire him
Credit: Trading a guy like Erik Karlsson at his peak pays dividends.
Last year, Erik Karlsson surprised just about everyone by scoring no less than 101 points. The Norris Trophy winner became the first defenseman to score 100 points in a single season since Brian Leetch in 1991-92.

The first in 31 years.

That said, despite Karlsson’s great season, the Sharks haven’t had a great campaign, and they’re not likely to become competitive again in the short term, so the club has openly declared that it’s ready to trade the defenseman.

Among the teams interested, the Hurricanes often come up, but there are also the Penguins. And according to Josh Yohe, Kyle Dubas continues to work hard to bring EK65 to town.

With an aging core in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, the Penguins have every incentive to be aggressive in trying to bring in reinforcements to help the three faces of the team win one last Stanley Cup before retirement. And in Karlsson, that would be a good step forward.

That said, the Sharks defenseman comes with a whopping $11.5 million cap hit for each of the next four seasons. And since the Penguins are already $1.5 million over the salary cap, they’ll have to come up with the cash if they want to get their hands on Karlsson (even with a portion of his salary withheld).

And that’s precisely why a guy like Jeff Petry needs to keep a close eye on the matter right now. The defenseman, who has a cap hit of $6.25 million for the next two seasons, would probably be one of those who would head for San Jose, Yohe believes.

This isn’t the first time his name has come up in San Jose, by the way.

On the other hand, the Sharks still had to be off his list of 15 teams he refused to be traded to. And considering he wanted to get closer to his native Michigan via trade, it’s far from impossible that he’d put a California team (which has been taking a nose dive for the past few years, to boot) on his list.

There’s also the possibility of trading Petry away from San Jose if the Sharks are on his list, but his contract and underperformance mean that he shouldn’t attract a ton of teams. Meanwhile, Mike Matheson is a superb surprise in Montreal.

Alternatively, Mikael Granlund ($5M cap hit, no no-trade clause) could be another solution, but since Karlsson is a right-handed defenseman, trading Petry would already make more sense.

In short, we’ll see if Dubas finds a way to bring Karlsson to town, but clearly, that seems to be his goal right now. It remains to be seen whether a guy like Petry will go the other way.

In gusts

– Clearly.

– Wow!

– He’s quite the field hockey player.

More Content