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REPORT: Penguins, Kraken, Canes After Karlsson?



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Will Erik Karlsson be with the San Jose Sharks after today?

It seems like teams, flush with cap space on the first day of free agency, are trying to get something done.

Pierre LeBrun reported earlier today that the Pittsburgh Penguins, Seattle Kraken, and Carolina Hurricanes were leading the derby.

National Hockey Now’s own Jimmy Murphy is thinking Pittsburgh:

The Penguins do have cap space and are motivated to win now, with stars Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang all in the back half of their careers. Pittsburgh will have to work out power play time and positioning between Letang and Karlsson, both right-handed offensive blueliners.

During the Draft, Frank Seravalli tied the San Jose Sharks to Pittsburgh’s declining Jeff Petry, who’s got two years left in his contract at $6.25 million AAV. It would be reasonable for him to go back to the Sharks in a Karlsson trade, to make space for however much the Pens are paying of Karlsson’s remaining four years at $11.5 million AAV.

We’re not sure how much the Sharks will retain, but Chris Johnston reported earlier this week that the Sharks were willing to make Karlsson an $8 million AAV player, meaning that they would retain $3 million or more a year.

Depending on a Karlsson trade, I do think there might be mutual interest between the San Jose Sharks and free agent defenseman Erik Gustafsson for Gustafsson to come in and soak up some of Karlsson’s offensive responsibilities.

Sharks Free Agency Rumors, Signings: Does Gustafsson Fit?

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