NHL Trade Rumors: San Jose Sharks linked to Erik Karlsson

Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /

The San Jose Sharks, according to the latest NHL trade rumors, have had discussions with the Ottawa Senators about acquiring Erik Karlsson

When a generationally excellent defensemen gets on the trade market, a lot of teams tend to be interested. There isn’t much of a precedence for this, but it’s certainly the case with Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson. The latest NHL trade rumors, according to Pierre LeBrun, have the San Jose Sharks discussing trading for the two-time Norris Trophy winner.

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It’s not surprising to see the Sharks check in on Karlsson. After all, two-time Norris Trophy winners are rarely, if ever, available. Karlsson is an elite defenseman when healthy. Even when he’s not healthy (like this season), he’s still better than a large majority of his peers.

As LeBrun points out, it’s possible the Sharks could take on Bobby Ryan to help lessen the cost to acquire Karlsson. Why the Senators would do anything to decrease what could be a king’s ransom is up for discussion. But if they’re interested in doing so, the Sharks have what it takes to get it done.

This seems like a deal that would happen in the offseason. The Sharks will have significantly more cap space by then. They will have about $18 million of cap space before factoring in the likely rising salary cap ceiling with 17 players under contract.

Another reason this trade has a much better chance of happening in the offseason is the Sharks can discuss an extension with Karlsson right away. If the Senators captain is traded at the trade deadline, an extension isn’t a guarantee. At least in the summer (past July 1st), the Sharks would know if they can extend Karlsson or not.

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With San Jose seemingly prepared to move on from Joe Thornton, perhaps Karlsson and Brent Burns could be the focus of the team moving forward.

For updated NHL trade rumors, be sure to check out our Rumors page and our NHL Trade Deadline Tracker.