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IS THERE A MARKET FOR ERIK KARLSSON?

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Erik Karlsson is having the best start to his NHL career that he’s ever had. Could San Jose use this as an opportunity to trade him and his $11.5 million salary?
Some experts are worried about Erik Karlsson’s future after Pierre LeBrun of TSN said that the San Jose Sharks are willing to listen to trade offers.

Karlsson is in his 14th season in the NHL, and this is the best start of his career. The 32-year-old has the most goals and points among NHL defensemen, with 10 goals and 18 points. He is also one of the top scorers in the league.

Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star said that Karlsson “looks like he’s trying out for a trade” because of how well he played. He also said that the puck-moving defenseman still had five years on his contract, which was worth an average of $11.5 million per year.

IS THERE A MARKET FOR ERIK KARLSSON?

Still, McGran wondered if the Sharks would keep half of Karlsson’s cap hit and maybe take back a player who makes more than $5.6 million. Nick Kypreos, who works with him, also wondered if the Sharks would keep “40 or 50 percent” of his salary. He said that Karlsson could help any contender in the league.

In July, Sharks general manager Mike Grier sent Brent Burns to the Carolina Hurricanes, which was a pricey move. Burns, who is 37 years old, has a cap hit of only $8 million for a shorter time (through 2024–25), and he has been healthier than Karlsson in recent years. Only $2.72 million of Burns’ cap hit was kept by the Sharks.

Grier might not want to carry up to $5.75 million in dead cap space through 2027 when Karlsson’s contract ends unless a rival team offers him incentives like first-round draft picks and promising young players. That is, of course, if Karlsson agrees to give up his right not to move.

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