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Pierre LeBrun Reveals when Erik Karlsson is Most Likely to be Traded
Photo credit: NHL

PIERRE LEBRUN REVEALS WHEN ERIK KARLSSON IS MOST LIKELY TO BE TRADED

JAN 21, 2023  (14H09)      JON
The 2023 NHL Trade Deadline is either going to be a wild, wild time, or it's going to be a total dud. The duality between teams shooting their shot at the Stanley Cup or opting for a total tank-job is the highest it's been in years.

In that sense, lots of teams could opt to sell off their top players in exchange for lucrative futures packages. On the other hand, however, the NHL salary cap has most of the NHL handcuffed and limited from making significant additions to their teams.

Per CapFriendly,12 NHL teams have no cap space, 17 teams have players on LTIR, and 27 teams have less than $3M in cap space. As such, key deadline targets / pending free agents could end up staying put rather than being traded. One such trade target is Erik Karlsson.

Karlsson is having a season for the ages, on pace for 111 points and has repeatedly stressed that he wants to win. For those who don't know, the San Jose Sharks aren't winning anything anytime soon, save maybe the draft lottery.


A Stanley Cup contender would seriously benefit from acquiring the defenseman, but the odds of that happening are incredibly slim. The Sharks made it known that they would retain 18% of Karlsson's $11.5 million cap hit in exchange for three 1st-round draft picks.

As a result, Pierre LeBrun reports that if Karlsson is indeed moved, it won't be until this summer.

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It is my personal belief that this could be said for most of the NHL's 'trade bait' players who are not on expiring contracts. The current market conditions aren't ideal for anyone, and most teams shopping their top players will likely receive subprime returns.

Therefore, it is supremely unlikely that teams will accept a deal that doesn't improve their team.
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