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SPECULATION: Friedman Guesses Panthers, Capitals Could Have Interest in Karlsson



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Tired of the “Erik Karlsson trade” news cycle?

It’s just beginning.

I teased Karlsson about it on Thursday, asking the once-Ottawa Senators superstar, “You’re headed off to Canada in a couple of weeks. Looking forward to the media crush?”

Karlsson, Grier Haven’t Talked About Waiving No-Movement Clause

The San Jose Sharks travel to take on the Montreal Canadiens, Senators, and Toronto Maple Leafs shortly after Thanksgiving.

Karlsson, never shy about the big stage, smiled, perhaps knowingly, “It’s always fun to play in those environments and against those teams.”

So hate tweets like Bardown’s yesterday? Like I said, it’s just beginning.

Insider Elliotte Friedman and co-host Jeff Marek speculated on the question of who might be interested in Karlsson on yesterday’s 32 Thoughts Podcast.

“This is just the two of us spitting here!” Friedman made sure to emphasize.

Two teams stood out to Friedman.

“The team I wonder about is Florida,” Friedman mused. “Florida is a really skilled offensive team. They’ve got a lot of money coming off their cap after this year. They’re going to have a bit more flexibility. He fits with them.”

Patric Hornqvist ($5.3 million dollar AAV) and Keith Yandle’s buyout ($5,391,667 this season to $1,241,667 in 2023-24) is some of that money leaving the cap.

Friedman continued, asking, “How many defensemen does Washington have signed after this year?”

At the moment, the Washington Capitals only have John Carlson signed on their blueline past this season. Dmitry Orlov, Nick Jensen, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Erik Gustafsson are among their UFA defensemen.

Can you imagine Karlsson and Carlson dishing to Alex Ovechkin in his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goal-scoring record?

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

Anyway, as Friedman stressed, this is his own speculation.

This is what’s real: Karlsson has a No-Movement Clause, meaning he has to approve any trade.

And any Karlsson trade will center around cap space. After this season, the 32-year-old defenseman has four more years on his deal, $11.5 million AAV.

The San Jose Sharks can retain up to 50 percent of Karlsson’s remaining contract by themselves. The Sharks and the team acquiring Karlsson can also enlist a third team to shoulder up to another 25 percent.

“This one has third team screaming at me,” Marek suggested. “You’re probably going to need a third team here.”

Of course, there has to be a real incentive to get the Sharks or a third party to retain significant money for four more years.

So I’m also going to write this a lot as long as Karlsson trade rumors persist: We’re still a long way from something, if anything, happening.

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