The Penguins’ long pursuit of defenseman Erik Karlsson finally paid off Sunday.
They acquired him from San Jose as part of a complex three-team deal.
The Penguins got Karlsson, blue-collar forward Rem Pitlick, prospect forward Dillon Hamaliuk and San Jose’s third-round draft choice in 2026.
The Sharks receive the Penguins’ first-round draft choice next year (top-1o protected), forward Mikael Granlund, third-pairing defenseman Jan Rutta and Montreal forward Mike Hoffman.
The Canadiens get Jeff Petry, goalie Casey DeSmith, prospect winger Nathan Legare and the Penguins’ second-round draft choice in 2025.
Karlsson’s contract has four years remaining and carries a salary-cap hit of $11.5 million. San Joe is retaining $1.5 million of that.
Karlsson, 33, won the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman last season, when he put up 25 goals and 76 assists in 82 games.
He spent the first nine seasons of his career in Ottawa, and the past five with the Sharks.
All told, he has 178 goals and 583 assists in 920 games.
Although plus-minus is, at best, a flawed stat, it’s worth noting that Karlsson — whose forte obviously is offense — has had a negative rating in each of the past four seasons, and all but five of his 14 in the NHL.
Penguins team sources felt they were close to acquiring Karlsson on July 1, but San Jose team sources later told San Jose Hockey Now reporter Sheng Peng that no team had come close to meeting the Sharks’ asking price.
While Penguins president of hockey operations/GM Kyle Dubas may be under pressure to make a decision Sunday, the Sharks also were under pressure to move Karlsson.
Last month, Karlsson told a Swedish outlet, “No, I am not (OK staying in San Jose). I like San Jose, and I like it there, but I’ve never been able to win before. I want that chance now that I’m at the end of my career,” Karlsson said. “I have been open about that with (San Jose GM Mike Grier) from the first day he started.”