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Grier Thinks Karlsson Will Finish Season With Sharks, Trade Easier in Summer



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Is Erik Karlsson going to follow Timo Meier out the door?

Yesterday, San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier sent his star winger to the New Jersey Devils in a massive 13-piece trade.

3 Takeaways from Meier Trade, Grier Presser

Is his star defenseman next?

Not so fast, Grier cautioned.

“I don’t know for sure, but at this time, I’m anticipating him being here for the rest of the season,” he said, “but anything can change with the drop of a hat.”

It’s not the quality of the player, of course – Karlsson is enjoying a spectacular, Norris Trophy-caliber campaign – it’s his contract.

That’s the reality of the hard salary cap era.

The 32-year-old is owed $11.5 million AAV until 2026-27, and how much the San Jose Sharks retain from that has reportedly been a sticking point in Karlsson trade talks.

“With five days to go until the Deadline, to make everything work, it’s something that’s difficult to pull off,” Grier said, before adding, “but at the end of the day, if someone wants him bad enough, as they say, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’.”

Well, that’s negotiating through the press!

The San Jose Sharks GM added that a Karlsson deal is likelier over the summer.

“I think it would be easier to do, where you can kind of get your ducks in a row and figure out how to make the money work. It’s probably easier in the off-season,” he said, “but at the same time, I’ve been saying from the beginning, I’ve enjoyed being around Erik, watching Erik. He’ll have a say in this in what he wants to do moving forward.”

That’s an important reminder as we head toward the Mar. 3 Trade Deadline and the off-season: Karlsson has a full No-Movement Clause, so he stays or goes if he wants.

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