What’s a reasonable Erik Karlsson trade to the Carolina Hurricanes?
But before we get to that, here’s a perhaps wild thought – I don’t think, for the San Jose Sharks, that trading Karlsson is about finding a deal worthy of a reigning Norris Trophy winner.
I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but that’s the truth of the salary cap era. It’s not just about the quality of the player on the ice at the moment – it’s about the player’s age, durability, consistency, and perhaps more than anything, his contract’s term and cost within a team’s salary structure.
So sure, Karlsson just had an amazing season, and has improbably flipped his negative trade value into positive. But he’s also 33, has had his season cut short by injury in three of his last five campaigns, and remains the highest-paid defenseman in the NHL at $11.5 million AAV for four more years.
Bluntly, Karlsson isn’t an asset with a lot of trade value. He may still be a game-changer on the ice, but off the ice, his contract is a massive future risk.
I’ve said that ad infinitum over the last year, as Karlsson was enjoying a season for the ages, and I repeat it again, because of some of the reaction to yesterday’s San Jose Sharks-Pittsburgh Penguins trade proposal.
To further illustrate, let’s compare Karlsson to another well-compensated star, who’s got a lot more trade value.
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