Will The Penguins Reach the Finish Line on a Karlsson Trade?

Photo Credit: Chris Brown/Zuma

The holidays are over, and I am back to work today. However, the Penguins could still be looking to create a celebration by acquiring defenseman Erik Karlsson from the San Jose Sharks. 

I was listening to the 32 Thoughts podcast yesterday and was intrigued by what Elliotte Friedman said about talks between the Oilers and Sharks on Karlsson around the trade deadline. He mentioned that the Sharks told the Oilers they were willing to eat about 18-20% of his salary. He said that to move Karlsson, the Sharks would likely have to retain close to 40% of his salary instead of 20%, but they can’t do 50%. 

The Sharks likely want to take on around $3 million of Karlsson’s cap. 20% is about $2.3 million, and 35% is over $4 million. 

The Penguins are currently over the salary cap as well, which makes things harder. The Pens will likely have to send as much cap space out as they take in for Karlsson. Although the Sharks reportedly have an interest in defenseman Jeff Petry, and trading him would make a LOT of sense, he does have a 15-team no-trade clause. He also wouldn’t make sense in San Jose, in my opinion as well. Making this trade a three-team trade would make the most sense, in my opinion. 

A trade could start with moving defenseman Jan Rutta, forward Mikael Granlund, and goaltender Casey DeSmith. Also, Friedman also mentioned that the Pens don’t want to trade defenseman Marcus Pettersson this summer. I smiled when I heard that. 

Either way, the goal of Dubas right now seems to be wanting to bring Karlsson to Pittsburgh. However, Karlsson does have full control with a complete no-movement clause. If the Penguins can make this extremely complicated trade work, with three teams and several players being moved, it would be something to see. 

Nik Shermeto

PT ‘23 | 🇺🇸/🇨🇦 | Penguins writer for Inside The Rink | Thoughts are my own.

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