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SPECULATION: Why Sharks, Karlsson Contract Termination Is Plausible



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

“EK65 Watch” has entered the dog days of August.

On Jul. 1, there were rumors that the San Jose Sharks were close to trading 2023 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins. For whatever reason, that deal didn’t materialize. Since then, there’s been a drip of information here and there, but it’s been slow going.

The Penguins and the Carolina Hurricanes appear to be most interested. Karlsson himself confirmed that he’s also talked to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Seattle Kraken about playing for them, but they don’t appear to be serious suitors. The San Jose Sharks, apparently, don’t want to retain as much of Karlsson’s remaining contract as other teams want. And teams don’t want to trade as much for Karlsson as the Sharks would like.

“Those teams have all essentially sat back and said, ‘Hey, call us in August,’” insider Frank Seravalli said last week.

Well, it’s August.

In the absence of concrete news, a player of Karlsson’s stature has attracted a lot of speculation, unsubstantiated trade proposals – I’ve been guilty of that – and more.

So here’s a wild idea that I’ve heard bandied about by fans – but thinking about it, there’s a degree of plausibility to it. Enough so that I asked two player agents and long-time front office executive Mike Santos for their opinions.

Here’s the thumbnail version: Karlsson has four more years left in his contract at $11.5 million AAV. He wants to leave the San Jose Sharks to win a Stanley Cup. Teams, naturally, are challenged to fit that cap hit into an $83.5 million salary cap.

Could Karlsson and the Sharks agree to mutually terminate his contract? The Sharks would be completely off the hook from Karlsson’s contract. The swashbuckling defenseman could be a UFA and pick his destination.

Read the Full Article at NBC Sports Bay Area


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