Why they make sense: Sure, the Pittsburgh Penguins have won two consecutive Stanley Cups and they’re already a top-heavy team cap wise. However, why did the Golden State Warriors sign Kevin Durant? Why did the New York Yankees trade for Giancarlo Stanton? Because they want to be the best. Getting Erik Karlsson would make the Penguins even better.
Feasible trade: As I mentioned earlier, Pittsburgh is a pretty top-heavy team cap wise. They have a group of guys making a lot of money and a group of guys making close to the league minimum. This gives them a pretty dire salary cap situation, making it impossible to faciliate a Karlsson trade without parting with someone making a lot of money.
Let’s go down the list. No, Sidney Crosby is not getting traded. Evgeni Malkin seems to be in trade rumors far more often than he should be, but nope, he’s not getting traded either. Kris Letang would be a possibility, but he has a no-movement clause. And while he’s an amazing defenseman when healthy, it’s fair to ask how much trade value a guy who has a laundry list of serious health issues has.
Justin Schultz and Brian Dumoulin would be the two most logical candidates because they’re the two guys making money who don’t have any movement protection. Daniel Sprong would have to be included in the deal, as would a first-round pick in 2019.
Why it won’t happen: Even NHL 18 on easy mode with that trade veto option turned on wouldn’t let the Penguins trade for Karlsson. Man, that’s just unfair.