A potential hurdle in any deal that would see Erik Karlsson leave the San Jose Sharks is rumored to be the amount of salary the Sharks are willing to retain when it comes to a trade. Reports have been that 18% was the limit, with some reporting just a touch higher, and if true, that really would handcuff any club from making a serious pitch because Karlsson’s salary only comes down to around $9 million.
Most teams would love to add a defenseman the caliber of Karlsson to their lineup but few teams — including the Edmonton Oilers who are the team rumored to have circled back on a trade for the elite blueliner — can afford $9 million over the next four seasons. The only realistic way the Oilers (or any other team) can get involved in these trade discussions is if the Sharks are willing to retain as much as 40%. A $7 million defenseman is still expensive, but at that point, a trade becomes manageable.
For example, if the Oilers were to move Tyson Barrie, Jesse Puljujarvi, a first-round pick, and prospect Xavier Borgeault, that would see Edmonton sending out $7.5 million and taking $6.9 million back. They could then waive another player at just over $1 million, insert Kailer Yamamoto back into the lineup from LTIR and be cap compliant. However, as Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic reports, it might take more than that.
Speaking on the Got Yer’ Back podcast, LeBrun shot down rumors that the Sharks had a retention cap ceiling. Ownership and management haven’t put a limit on what they’ll retain, but the trade-off has to be what comes back in return for the Sharks to consider retaining more than the original 18% – 20% discussed. From an Oilers’ perspective, that could mean another pick.
Can teams get the Sharks to a point where they’re willing to retain 40%-50%? And, if they do, how many teams beyond the Oilers would seriously take a look at this?
Next: Oilers and Sharks Re-Spark Trade Talks Regarding Erik Karlsson
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