It’s no secret that San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson shall be among the many hottest commodities on the NHL commerce deadline in March. As that day looms nearer and nearer, Karlsson is making his intentions recognized to the group.
In an look on the “Got Yer Back” podcast with TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Ryan Rishaug, Karlsson revealed that going to a contender is a prime precedence for him at this stage of his skilled profession.
“I’m at all times going to advocate that. That’s at all times been who I’m, and I need to win,” Karlsson mentioned. “That’s at all times going to be my goal. I feel my household is aware of and understands that, they usually assist me in no matter choice I need to take professionally. It doesn’t suggest it is going to be simple to make a transfer proper now with the whole lot. But if it comes proper all the way down to it, I do not suppose there can be any points doing it.
“I’ll by no means sway from that. I need to win. And I feel as you grow old and you’ve got been round for an extended time, you understand that it is not as simple because it appears, and you have to hit it proper on the proper time.”
Karlsson does have a full no-movement clause in his contract, so he can veto any potential deal that the Sharks place in entrance of him. The veteran defenseman additionally has a lofty contract as he is making $11.5 million this season.
Earlier this month, groups begun calling the Sharks to inquire concerning the availability of Karlsson.
Karlsson is within the midst of his greatest season because the Sharks acquired him in a commerce from the Ottawa Senators again in 2018. The 32-year previous presently leads all NHL defensemen in factors (62), objectives (15), and assists (47). Karlsson additionally leads the complete league in assists whereas rating sixth in factors.
Karlsson is presently on tempo for 111 factors (27 objectives & 84 assists) through the 2022-23 season. That would simply surpass his earlier career-highs of factors (82), objectives (21), and assists (66).
The Sharks will probably be trying to transfer Karlsson previous to the league’s commerce deadline on March 3 contemplating that the workforce presently has a 14-23-9 file.
With the proficient defenseman doubtlessly being on the transfer, this is a have a look at 5 of most reasonable locations for Karlsson.
It was a tough begin to the season for Edmonton as they have been pressured to be with out one in every of their prime forwards in Evander Kane for an prolonged interval. However, after lacking two months, Kane returned to the lineup earlier this week and Edmonton remains to be within the thick of the playoff race within the Western Conference. That’s why the Oilers make a ton of sense relating to making a splash and making an attempt to solidify their blue line with Karlsson. Former first spherical picks Jesse Puljujarvi and Dylan Holloway would probably be on the transfer in a possible deal. It additionally would not harm that the Oilers personal their first spherical picks over the following three seasons, in order that may very well be very attractive to the Sharks.
The Kraken have rapidly turn out to be contenders within the Pacific Division regardless of solely being of their second season within the NHL. They’re presently tied with the Vegas Golden Knights for the division lead and have proven that they’ll conflict with a number of the league’s heavyweights. However, the blue line is one space that might actually be addressed because the workforce would not possess an elite-level defenseman. With much less high-profile gamers on their roster, the Kraken can soak up Karlsson’s massive cap hit. The Sharks can be silly to not not less than attempt to pry 2022 first spherical Shane Wright away from the Kraken in any potential deal. Even if that does not come to fruition, Seattle owns their first spherical choose in addition to three second spherical picks in 2023, so that they have loads of enticing property that ought to curiosity San Jose.
The music and dance has remained the identical for the Toronto Maple Leafs in recent times. This is a franchise that hasn’t gotten out of the opening spherical of the postseason in every of the previous six years and one thing’s bought to offer. The Maple Leafs’ protection has been depleted by accidents all through the 2022-23 season. Jake Muzzin is presently out of the lineup with a cervical backbone damage and should not play once more this season. In addition, TJ Brodie, Morgan Rielly, and Jordie Benn are all presently injured, so Toronto could also be pressured to make a transfer. Talented ahead Nick Robertson and prime prospect Matthew Knies might actually be on the desk in a possible deal involving Karlsson. Having Karlsson on the ice with the likes of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner from an offensive standpoint can be a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Considering that Maple Leafs normal supervisor Kyle Dubas’ job may very well be on the road if the workforce flounders once more, it might make a ton of sense for Toronto to swing for the fences.
The Capitals is probably not the clubhouse leaders to make a transfer for Karlsson, however maybe the workforce desires to make a ultimate Stanley Cup run or two earlier than Alex Ovechkin hangs up his skates. John Carlson is the one defenseman that the Capitals have signed to a contract past this season, so including Karlsson would make sense. If the Sharks comply with retain a good portion of Karlsson’s wage, the Capitals might actually make a deal work. Their 2023 first spherical choose in addition to prime prospects Connor McMichael and Ivan Miroshnichenko would probably be on the desk in alternate for Karlsson. The concept of teaming up with Ovechkin may very well be intriguing to the veteran defenseman.
This is one that’s actually going to rely the place the workforce is when the commerce deadline attracts nearer. The Panthers presently have a 22-20-5 file (49 factors) and are two factors out of the second Wild Card spot within the Eastern Conference. Florida has gamers like ahead Patric Hornqvist ($5.3 million) and defenseman Radko Gudas ($2.5 million) coming off of their books following the 2022-23 season, so that they’ll have the cap house to make it work going ahead. The Sharks might additionally agree to soak up a few of Karlsson’s wage to drive up the package deal that they obtain in return. The Panthers have already traded their first spherical picks over the following three years, however have many enticing forwards that may probably curiosity the Sharks. 21-year previous middle prospect Anton Lundell and doubtlessly a participant like Carter Verhaeghe may very well be sufficient to get a deal accomplished for Karlsson. In including Karlsson, it might give the Panthers two work horse blue-liners together with Aaron Ekblad.