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Penguins Among Teams in Trade Talks for Erik Karlsson



NHL trade, Erik Karlsson to Oilers, Pittsburgh Penguins Win

The Pittsburgh Penguins trade rumors got a jolt Saturday, as they may be doing more than kicking tires on at least one big name. The Penguins are one of several teams interested in Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson.

UPDATE: Saturday afternoon, Pittsburgh Hockey confirmed from team sources the Penguins are a finalist for Karlsson and are involved in talks. The talks are down to two teams, the Penguins and the Seattle Kraken.

Karlsson, 32, had 101 points last season with the San Jose Sharks. He won the Norris Trophy in a resurgent season that elevated his value after a few years of declining production.

The rub has been Karlsson’s monster contract and San Jose’s willingness to retain significant salary to facilitate a deal. Karlsson has four years remaining on a deal that carries an $11.5 million AAV.

Even a 50% retention would cost a team $5.75 million for four years and would likely mean the Penguins trade Jeff Petry to make room for Karlsson on the right side. It would also be an interesting dynamic regarding who would control the Penguins’ power play unit, Karlsson or Kris Letang.

LeBrun characterized the Seattle Kraken, Carolina Hurricanes, and Penguins as the front runners.

Before Karlsson’s reemergence last season, he did not break the 45-point barrier in four consecutive seasons, scoring 35 and 22 points over the previous two seasons, respectively.

Karlsson is a great skater, though not always perfect in the defensive zone. Injuries have hampered him for years. Until last season, he did not play more than 71 games since 2017-18.

San Jose GM Mike Greer has agreed to trade Karlsson to a contending team, but salary retention and trade return have been a sticking point for the last 12 months.