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Erik Karlsson to Pittsburgh: Jeff Petry could be involved in the deal

The more the days go by, the more we realize that Kent Hughes did an excellent job in trading Jeff Petry to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Not only did he manage not to keep part of the defenseman’s enormous salary, but he also got a Quebec defenseman in return, one who wants to play here and who is excellent. His name is Mike Matheson.

We won’t talk about Ryan Poehling, who has collected just 14 points in 53 games with the Penguins. A few days ago, the American signed a contract with Philadelphia.

But then again, I guess playing in Pittsburgh, where standards are high, appeals to Petry… Needless to say, the team lost to the NHL’s worst team to end their season, didn’t they?

Despite the change in management and a 2022-2023 season to forget, the Pennsylvania team wants to bounce back. It’s not yet in “rebuild” mode. As long as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang are around, they’ll do whatever it takes to win.

That’s why Kyle Dubas, the Penguins’ new president, is in every race to acquire Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson.

As mentioned in our text from just three days ago, Josh Yohe, a journalist covering Penguins activities linked Petry’s name to the Sharks. Now it’s the turn of another journalist, Max Miller, who covers the Sharks, to link the former CH man to the California team.

Two well-informed, unrelated journalists who think the same thing may not be a coincidence.

Seeing Petry go the other way makes sense. Because if Karlsson comes to town, the Penguins would have three top-notch right-handed defensemen. Letang, Karlsson and Petry. And at a salary of $6.25 million annually, I don’t think the American would like to be on a third pair.

And speaking of salary, Pittsburgh is currently just over $2 million over the salary cap. Remember that teams can exceed the cap by 10% in the off-season. The team would only comply with this 10% if the Sharks (or a third-party team) withheld 50% of the Swede’s salary. And if they did, they’d have just under $300,000 to spare. Drew O’Connor, a guy who did quite well last year in the AHL and NHL, is currently a restricted free agent.

So yes, sending Petry’s contract to San Jose is imperative to complete a deal.

In his text, Miller proposes a three-team deal, involving a lot of retained salary. San Jose would receive Jeff Petry (35% of his salary would be retained by Nashville), Mikael Granlund (25% of his salary would be retained by Pittsburgh), Drew O’Connor (RFA) and the Penguins’ 2025 first-round pick.

The Penguins would receive Erik Karlsson, of course, and the Sharks would retain half his salary ($5.75 million).

And the Preds? They would receive Casey DeSmith, draft picks in 2024 and 2025 and part of Petry’s salary.

It seems to me that the Sharks wouldn’t benefit much from the deal…

One thing’s for sure: for a deal involving Erik Karlsson to go through, a lot of salary gymnastics will have to take place. Let’s not forget that the Hurricanes are also in the mix.

In gusto

– Cale Fleury remains in Seattle.

– Back to your questions.

– Jordan Romano at the All-Star Game.

– Two hires in Sherbrooke.

– Well done.

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