It’s no longer a secret that the San Jose Sharks are looking to trade in recent Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson. And his next destination could well be Toronto.
The Maple Leafs are reportedly among the teams Karlsson has spoken to to help the Sharks trade him, he told Swedish daily Expressen. Recall that the 33-year-old defender asked the California club for a move to have a shot at winning the Stanley Cup before the end of his career. However, he has a full no-move clause, allowing him to remain in control of his next target.
He revealed to Swedish media that he had talks with Toronto, but also with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Seattle Kraken and “a few other teams”.
“I am open in this whole process. I don’t have a favorite goal. I just want to have the best possible chance to play for the best possible team. »
Pittsburgh top of the list?
Although Toronto is among the candidates, the most persistent rumors send Karlsson to Pittsburgh with Sidney Crosby and his gang.
According to the Athletic website, both Crosby and Kristopher Letang were recently consulted by management and Karlsson’s potential move to Pennsylvania was approved.
In the case of Letang, the organization promised him that he would retain his No. Defender title. 1, but Letang agreed to cede his quarterback position to Karlsson on the first power play wave.
friend with spezza
Additionally, Jason Spezza now serves as Assistant General Manager in Pittsburgh. He and Karlsson know each other well, having played together for the Ottawa Senators from 2009 to 2014.
“Me and Jason Spezza talked a lot. We are longtime friends. We also talked when he was in Toronto. Our conversations are more on the level of friendship. I’ve spoken to the people I need to talk to in Pittsburgh, including Kyle Dubas. I’ve tried to get as much information as possible from the teams I’m interested in about how they owe me and what they want. I want to make the best decision for my family and myself. »
Karlsson had the best offensive season of his career with 101 points in 82 games and received the Norris Trophy, which is awarded to the most valuable defenseman in the NHL. However, it is his contract that complicates a transaction. Next season, he will complete the first of four remaining years on a contract that pays him $11.5 million per season.