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Erik Karlsson and Sharks Agree to Seek Trade This Summer

The San Jose Sharks and Erik Karlsson are both on the same page and have agreed to try and find a trade that works this summer.

According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the San Jose Sharks and defenseman Erik Karlsson have mutually agreed that it’s time to part ways and find a new team for Karlsson. Representatives from Newport Sports, who represent Karlsson, and Sharks management recently met and decided to explore the possibility of a trade.

While hesitant in the past, Karlsson, who would prefer to play for a competitive team, understands that the Sharks are currently in a rebuilding phase and is open to being dealt. The hurdle, once again, is the contract. Karlsson has four years remaining on his contract, with an average annual value of $11.5 million and LeBrun wonders if there is a team willing to take on that contract as is, or if the Sharks will need to retain a significant portion of it to facilitate a deal.

LeBrun mentions that several teams have already expressed initial interest in Karlsson but it’s worth noting that a trade is not a guarantee. Not only is the contract rich and unaffordable for many, but Karlsson has a full no-move clause, meaning he has the final say on whether he approves a potential trade partner.

What Is the Likelihood of a Karlsson Trade?

While some may dismiss the idea of Erik Karlsson being moved due to his age, high salary, and injury history, there are those who see the potential value in acquiring his talent for the next four years at a reduced price if the Sharks retain a portion of his contract.

Rumors had circulated before the trade deadline that the Sharks were open to retaining 20 percent of Karlsson’s cap hit, but they may need to offer a higher percentage. One possibility mentioned by Shayna Goldman and Harman Dayal of The Athletic is a three-team trade where the cap hit is distributed among multiple teams, resulting in a lower financial burden for the acquiring team. In this scenario, the Sharks could potentially retain up to 50 percent.

Potential suitors include the Edmonton Oilers — who were heavily rumored to be in talks last season –, the Dallas Stars, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Detroit Red Wings, and Ottawa Senators.

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