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Delay In Oilers/Sharks Trade Not Due To Salary Or a Karlsson “No”

Erik Karlsson has shown interest in joining the Edmonton Oilers and the Sharks are willing to retain salary. What’s the trade holdup?

If the Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks can’t pull off a trade that would see Erik Karlsson move to the Oilers for picks, prospects, and players, it won’t be because of salary retention issues or a lack of the defenseman’s desire to join Edmonton. According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli — and confirmed by Jeff Marek of Sportsnet — it is believed that Karlsson is open to the idea of joining Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. It is also believed that salary retention is not the hurdle both sides need to overcome. Seravalli notes it’s the ask from San Jose in terms of picks and prospects that is keeping this deal from going through.

Servalli explained during a recent episode of the DFO Rundown that it isn’t the money, nor the player. It’s the price to land Karlsson. He noted, “To me, the hang-up isn’t necessarily the cap hit or the [retention], it’s the acquisition price. The Oilers are not paying [the reported asking price of three 1sts] or anywhere close to it. And they shouldn’t.

Erik Karlsson Edmonton Oilers trade rumors
Erik Karlsson Edmonton Oilers trade rumors

To be fair, the report of three first-round picks has been disputed. That was originally the speculation when a trade for Karlsson was first thrown out there as a possibility, but since then, the potential speculated return has gone way down. The key to remember here is that Karlsson is playing lights-out hockey and may never do this again. He’s being sold at an all-time high and just a year ago, his contract was deemed to be untradeable. That doesn’t necessarily give the Oilers the leverage here, but it does suggest that there is some pressure on the Sharks to make this deal while they can get the best return. Another opportunity like this might not come along again. Finding a fine line between getting a good return, not eating half of his salary for nothing, and not giving the player away is where the Sharks probably sit.

Meanwhile, the Oilers are dollar in, dollar out. As such, the trade has to include assets and money going back to San Jose. At the very least, Edmonton has to move other money first and then try to acquire Karlsson. Whether that means including a player like Jesse Puljujarvi in the deal or waiving him first and/or trading him to another team, then talking to San Jose… it doesn’t really matter. The money needs to go before Karlsson’s $7-$9 million salary can come in. And, if LeBrun’s report that the Sharks are willing to retain more in the trade, that only means the Oilers have to send more to San Jose to make it worth their while.

So, if Karlsson is good to go on this deal and the Sharks are willing to retain as much as 40%, what is it that the Sharks want to agree to this? Certainly, it’s the Oilers’ first-round pick in 2023. It’s also likely a first-round equivalent. Whether that’s Evan Bouchard or Puljujarvi isn’t clear.

Next: NHL Trade Talk Podcast-Ep 24: Chychrun, Gavrikov, Weegar, Kane

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  1. Pingback: Delay In Oilers/Sharks Trade Not Due To Salary Or a Karlsson “No” Its Playoff Hockey Fantasy Hockey News – Its Playoff Hockey

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