Saturday, April 13, 2024

NHL trade rumors: Erik Karlsson’s potential move out of Pittsburgh on the cards as struggles pile on

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Are the Pittsburgh Penguins pulling the plug on Erik Karlsson already? Rumors have surfaced that the Pittsburgh Penguins’ management is contemplating a significant change. Karlsson has emerged as a possibility, a key element in Kyle Dubas’ efforts to bolster the team’s defensive capabilities.

Expressing his dissatisfaction with the Penguins’ underwhelming performance, the president of hockey operations and general manager, Dubas, recently said that he will take the month of January to evaluate the roster thoroughly. The GM has hinted at making changes in February, closer to the All-Star Game, signaling a potential shake-up within the team.

The Penguins currently hold a 13-13-3 record, placing them five points behind the last wild card playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Injuries have plagued the team and some core players are not performing at their usual levels, contributing to the team’s underachievement.

2023 NHL Awards - ShowNorris Trophy winner, was Dubas’ first major acquisition in Pittsburgh. However, with the Penguins struggling and the desire to win paramount, there are rumblings that Karlsson could be on the trade block ahead of the March deadline. Pittsburgh Hockey Now’s Dan Kingerski has delved into Dubas’ recent comments on roster evaluation and believes Karlsson is a player to watch in potential trade discussions.

Kingerski noted that Erik Karlsson, being a player with a strong desire to win, might be open to a quick and amicable parting if the Penguins’ fortunes don’t change soon. Dubas, if opting for a trade, could potentially recoup the first and second-round picks given up in the initial deal and possibly more. However, Kingerski suggests that next summer is a more likely timeframe for a trade due to Erik Karlsson’s hefty salary.

Would Erik Karlsson’s cumbersome contract and limited production this season scare away potential suitors?

In his first 29 games with the Penguins, Karlsson has recorded 21 points. Despite his contributions, the team has struggled, particularly on the power play. The Penguins’ slow start in converting power play opportunities has significantly affected their less-than-ideal record this season.

Erik Karlsson’s contract, valued at $10 million per season through 2026-27, with the San Jose Sharks retaining $1.5 million over the span, poses a financial challenge for potential suitors.

As speculation grows, fans are left wondering about the future destination of the skilled Swedish defenseman and how a potential trade might reshape the Penguins’ roster. The comments section is buzzing with opinions on where Karlsson might land, adding an air of uncertainty to an already intriguing storyline in Pittsburgh.

Edited by Parag Jain

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