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Penguins Prepared to Wait, Call Sharks’ Bluff in Erik Karlsson Trade

Penguins and Dubas play the waiting game as they test San Jose Sharks’ resolve in Erik Karlsson trade.

According to Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now, the Pittsburgh Penguins are willing to test San Jose Sharks’ GM Mike Grier’s resolve and wait for the Sharks to lower their asking price or retain more salary in a potential Erik Karlsson trade. The Penguins believe that the cost of acquiring Karlsson would be more manageable under these conditions and are taking the chances other suitors aren’t out there and that San Jose is in a position where they need to move Karlsson more than the Penguins need to add him.

Kingerski suggests that Grier, who is working to rebuild the Sharks following unsuccessful investments in Karlsson and Brent Burns by former GM Doug Wilson, does not have a strong bargaining position. While Grier may try to hold out for a high price, similar to Arizona Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong’s strategy with Jakob Chychrun, it is anticipated that he will eventually relent.

Mike Grier Kyle Dubas Sharks Penguins trade
Penguins and Dubas play the waiting game as they test San Jose Sharks’ resolve in Erik Karlsson trade.

Although the specific asking price for Karlsson remains unknown, the fact that no team has met the demands so far suggests that it is likely too high. Given that Karlsson’s value could decrease if he struggles with injuries or ineffectiveness, coupled with his hefty $11.5 million per season contract, it makes sense for the Sharks to consider trading him.

How Long Can the Sharks Hold Out?

Furthermore, Karlsson is not an essential part of the Sharks’ rebuilding efforts, considering his high cost and the team’s failure to make the playoffs even in his standout season. Other general managers, including Dubas, are also calling Grier’s bluff, expecting him to give in at some point. The key question is whether Grier will prolong the process or accept the reality sooner, as the Coyotes eventually did with Chychrun.

The ongoing negotiations between the Penguins and Sharks regarding Karlsson will continue to unfold, with both teams seeking a favorable outcome. It’s unlikely both sides are going to come out looking like winners here. As the pressure mounts, it remains to be seen how long Grier can hold out before making a decision that aligns with the Sharks’ rebuilding objectives.

Next: William Nylander Trade Talk: The Weight of an Unsigned Season

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