Should I stay or should I go?
As disappointing as the San Jose Sharks season was, Erik Karlsson made their games worth tuning into. Despite the team amassing just 22 wins in 82 regular season games, the future Hall of Fame defenseman had the best year of his career, registering a ridiculous 25 goals and 101 points. Both of those numbers led all blueliners throughout the league, and made him just one of 11 players to crack the 100-point mark.
Given how much success he had throughout the 2022-23 campaign, rumors swirled that Karlsson might be moved at or ahead of the 2023 Trade Deadline. Karlsson himself mentioned at various points that he wanted to compete for a Stanley Cup, something this Sharks team simply wasn’t close to.
While a trade didn’t occur by the Deadline, in large part because of Karlsson’s massive contract, there is still speculation that one may take place this summer. Karlsson himself holds plenty of cards on that as he has a full No-Movement clause in his contract, though he could very well approach management saying he is in favor of being dealt. Speaking on The Athletic Hockey Show podcast, San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn alluded to just that.
“I think he’s torn,” Quinn said when asked if Karlsson would like to join a more competitive roster. “I think he really enjoys San Jose, I think he likes the direction of our franchise. But he’s also going to be 33 years old and he wants to win a Stanley Cup.
“He and I have had plenty of conversations about this, I think he’s in a little bit of a holding pattern, trying to see what our next move is.
“I think he’ll make that decision here over the next few months in his conversations with [Mike Grier] and seeing what happens here leading up to the Draft. Obviously, the first piece of the puzzle is gonna be on May 8 when those balls start bouncing all over the place.”
What Quinn is alluding to, of course, is the lottery to see who will select first in the upcoming 2023 NHL Entry Draft. This draft year in particular is being hyped up much more given that Connor Bedard, who is considered by some to be a generational talent, is slated to go first overall. The San Jose Sharks have the fourth-best odds to win the lottery at 9.5 per cent, and if they were to win it, the chances of Karlsson sticking around might increase significantly.
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