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Sharks’ GM Confirms He’ll Listen To Trade Offers on Erik Karlsson

The San Jose Sharks have confirmed they will listen to trade offers on Erik Karlsson. Does that mean the team is anywhere close to a deal?

According to Mike Grier, the new general manager of the San Jose Sharks, the team will listen on any reasonable trade offers made for defenseman Erik Karlsson. It’s not that the club is looking to trade the blueliner, but if a team shows enough interest and wants to make an offer that is hard for the Sharks to ignore, Grier certainly didn’t shoot down the potential of a trade at some point this season.

As per NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika, Grier said, “I’ll listen, but at the end of the day, too, a lot will depend on Erik, too.” What the GM means is that Karlsson has a lot of say as to where he goes, if he goes anywhere at all. “He’s got the trade protection and (has control over) what he wants to do,” said Grier. He added, “I know right now he’s happy. He’s happy in San Jose. His family’s happy there. And we’re thrilled with how he’s playing.”

It hasn’t always been that way in San Jose. The team was not good last season and Karlsson’s tenure with the Sharks has been riddled with injuries. But, he’s having a bounce-back season, with 10 goals and 22 points in 17 games. He’s caught a lot of attention since the season began and there have been murmurs as the Sharks try to retool and rebuild if moving him might be the best decision for the organization.

Erik Karlsson San Jose Sharks 1
Erik Karlsson San Jose Sharks 1

The only issue is that he’s not going to be easy to move, regardless of how strong a season he has. Karlsson is now 32 years old and is signed through 2026-27 with an $11.5-million cap hit. Even if he didn’t have a full no-movement clause, there are few teams, if any, that could take that sort of contract on. Perhaps the Sharks are open to retaining some of his salary, but Grier would likely want to limit the size of that financial commitment, especially when you consider how much time is remaining on the contract. It’s a lot to pay for a player who could still be of use to the team.

“He’s a dynamic player,” said Grier. “To me, he’s probably one of the three best offensive defensemen in the league, and he’s been great for us. He’s done everything we’ve asked as far as preparation, practicing, playing. He’s been great.” The question then becomes, why would you want to trade that? The only answer would be to sell high and while Karlsson is on fire.

In What Scenario Would The Sharks Trade Karlsson?

Grier suggests the odds of a trade are probably low. He explains that he gets the value in the player, but also hints there’s nothing brewing or imminent conversations about the veteran defenseman. “So, maybe there’s a scenario where a team comes asking for him (in a trade) because I do think he’s a difference-maker. He’s someone who can go out there and win you a game – or win you a series, for that matter – so maybe something will come up down the road. We’ll see.”

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