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REPORT: Sharks, Sens Have Talked Karlsson Trade Back to Ottawa



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Could Erik Karlsson return to the city that he’s called his “forever home”?

“I think those conversations have happened between the Sharks and the Senators, I believe the two teams have talked about it,” Elliotte Friedman said on the Jeff Marek Show today.

In Sept. 2018, the Ottawa Senators traded the two-time Norris Trophy winner with prospect Francis Perron to the San Jose Sharks for Dylan DeMelo, Chris Tierney, prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, a 2019 second-round pick (Jamieson Rees), a 2020 first-round pick (Tim Stutzle), and a 2021 second-round pick (Zach Ostapchuk).

After the 2018-19 season, the Sharks re-signed Karlsson to an eight-year, $92 million dollar contract.

Karlsson, however, has never hidden his affection for his first NHL city – the Senators drafted him in the first round in 2008 – and he and his family still own a home in Ottawa.

In the midst of a comeback campaign for Karlsson, who leads all NHL defensemen in both goals and points, San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier admitted yesterday that he was willing to listen to trade offers for his star defenseman.

REPORT: Grier Says He’ll ‘Listen’ to Trade Offers for Karlsson

This doesn’t make a deal likely or inevitable though: There aren’t many, and maybe there aren’t any teams that would want to absorb the 32-year-old’s remaining contract, four more years after this season with an $11.5 million dollar AAV.

According to Friedman, the Senators aren’t likely to be able to take on Karlsson’s contract, even if the Sharks were to retain the maximum 50 percent on it: “I just don’t know if it’s going to be possible. What I heard was it’s just not going to be cap possible.”

Marek and Friedman believe Stutzle, Norris, Brady Tkachuk, Jake Sanderson, Shane Pinto, Alex DeBrincat, and Artem Zub would be off-limits in any Karlsson trade, the future combined cost of such a core being another road block to a potential San Jose-Ottawa accord.

On the San Jose Sharks’ side, it’s hard to figure out a reason for them to retain that much of Karlsson’s remaining money, unless the veteran blueliner absolutely wanted out. Using the Brent Burns trade as a model, Grier seems willing to accommodate his veterans’ desires, as long as it still helps the Sharks.

“I just looked at the landscape with the Senators, who they won’t want to trade, where their financial commitments are going to be, and I just don’t know how it works,” Friedman offered. “I’m not saying it won’t happen. It’s unlikely to happen. I just think the road map, even if the cap goes up the way that the Commissioner has hinted, I think the road map is extremely difficult to making that work.”

Gary Bettman has suggested that the cap could go up another $4 million dollars next year. The salary cap is currently $82.5 million.

Karlsson, also, has a no-movement clause in his contract. The Sharks can try to trade him anywhere that they want, but it’s entirely up to Karlsson whether he stays or goes.

The assumption is the Swedish star would welcome a return to his adopted home – his wife Melinda is also from Ottawa – but as Friedman outlined, it’s hard to see how the math works for the Senators.

I’m not sure how it works for the Sharks either.

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If that list of players, which is too many, is off limits, pass. We’d need some talent coming back.


If we could get the Cat that would be great. Give ‘em Gregor too.


Told ya – only reason Karlsson is playing the way he is playing. Great players play like he is every year. May have some down but not like the years he has had. Alfie his best friend lives in Ottawa and that’s where Karlsson wants to be too. I believe Alfie was a type of father figure to him as I don’t believe I’ve seen Karlsson’s dad nor hear him talk about his mom or dad for that matter. Also I said Karlsson made a statement when the owner died that no one paid attention to that I was like… Read more »


Just a heads up about a typo.

Marek and Friedman believe Stutlze, Norris…


So for a top tier offensive defenseman that maybe 6 or 7 teams have, the first two lines of a bottom feeder team are off limits.

Yep, sounds legit.

Kyle Johansen

Karlsson is 32 and signed until 26-27, and has a double digit cap hit. As great as he’s been so far this season (and I hope he continues to be great for a few years to come), he likely is not that player 2, 3 years down the line. No team is going to offer up their best young roster players – if a team wants Erik, they are probably competing. Even if Ottawa traded for him they would be doing so to add to the core they have to make them better. They are hardly getting better by adding… Read more »


fwiw, trade EK65 with Reimer and get Cam Talbot (who is off to a decent start this season) in return. Makes Ottawa better in two places, reducing the cost to San Jose.

But the reason not to add in Reimer, it’ll make it harder to bring in useful FA in the future. It is one thing to bring in a Cogliano, trade him to the Avs and see him win a Cup. Vets will sign for a team which treats them well. But trade a solid vet to Ottawa, that’d turn off most vets.


EK65 is VERY tradable to Ottawa. It may require a 3rd party to make it happen if cap issues are the stumbling block. A team can retain 1/2 of a contract’s cap hit. This can be done twice. So Ottawa could get EK65 at a 75% discount to his current cap hit. They can do that, with ease. The Sharks retain $5.5mil annually, the middleman retains $2.75mil annually and the Sens pay out $2.75mil annually. Alas, you’d have to cough up something along the lines of a 1st round pick (probably a bit more) to the middleman for that team… Read more »

Ty Comes

But with the cost required to bring in a 3rd team, *why* would that be worthwhile…? It would be stupid to have to spend assets


He is very tradable, but giving up draft picks or promising prospects to get it done — hard to make sense of that. That said, it’d be the Sens giving up assets, not the Sharks. EK65 is worth perhaps $8mil a season, so giving him up and retaining half ought to get some assets in return. Roughly a first round pick.

david barnard

they could take an expensive short term contract in return and a mid level prospect or pick going back to the team facilitating the trade. just depends on getting the right team on board.

i’m still not in favor of Sharks doing a max retention trade on Karlsson. not even getting something substantial in return all but makes this a non starter.


Enough EK trade articles. They’re all speculation and getting tiresome.

Ty Comes

I 100% agree


Yeah, you don’t have to click on them if you don’t want to read them. Why is Sheng not going to write about a topic that generates clicks and engagement? We entered the 24/7 speculative ‘news’ cycle years ago. Just don’t click on the EK stories if you don’t like to read views about him that run counter to yours.


All the comments on this or that are all for naught if he’s on IR come Feb. Odds are higher in Vegas that he will be vs a trade to Ottawa. I’m surprise he isn’t day to day right now given 2 toe pick falls with a bruised hip or something. You know you gasped when he did it the 2nd time But some trivia on Nov 16, 2019, Karlsson played in his 700th game with the Sharks and scored a PPG. That goal made it 3-2 in the 2nd period but the Red Wings came back and tied it… Read more »

Last edited 11 days ago by KE

Trade for a good defense not a flashy one a hard working one that shoots and defend the net. Hard hat type of player. I’m tired of the spinerammas and the flashy type.

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