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Penguins acquire 3-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson in a trade with the Sharks

by Joshua Brown
7 comments
fokus keyword: trade

The Pittsburgh Penguins have made a significant move in an attempt to regain prominence in the Eastern Conference by acquiring 3-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson in a multifaceted trade involving the San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens.

The Penguins have been striving to balance their future prospects while capitalizing on the present, and this trade shows a strong commitment to the latter. Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and other key players, including the new president of hockey operations/general manager Kyle Dubas, are fully invested in challenging the dominant teams in the East.

Dubas has taken a decisive step by orchestrating the acquisition of star defenseman Erik Karlsson from San Jose in an extensive three-way transaction completed on Sunday. The deal sent a 2024 first-round pick, forward Mikael Granlund, and defenseman Jan Rutta to San Jose, and goaltender Casey DeSmith, defenseman Jeff Petry, a 2025 second-round pick, and prospect Nathan Legare to Montreal, in exchange for the talented Karlsson.

This notable trade marks the first time a defenseman has been moved right after winning the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman since Doug Harvey in 1961. Karlsson, 33, also stands out as the first to score 100 points in a season at his position since Brian Leetch in 1991-92.

The complexity of the deal included the Canadiens’ involvement to ensure salary cap compliance. Karlsson’s remaining contract, with four years at a cap hit of $11.5 million, had a portion retained by San Jose, while the Penguins will cover part of Petry’s salary.

Sharks general manager Mike Grier acknowledged the trade’s difficulty, praising Dubas’s aggressive approach during the prolonged negotiation. The transaction also saw the Penguins receive forward Rem Pitlick, prospect Dillon Hamaliuk, and San Jose’s 2026 third-round pick, while the Sharks acquired Mike Hoffman from Montreal.

With 814 points in 987 regular-season and playoff games, Karlsson will be a crucial asset in reviving the Penguins’ fortunes after a 16-year playoff streak ended last season. The recent history of disappointment prompted significant changes within the organization, including front office shake-ups.

The team’s veteran stars are reaching the later stages of their careers, and the addition of Karlsson, a skilled yet sometimes defensively inconsistent player, indicates a strong push to regain championship contention.

The trade also allowed the Penguins to offload Granlund and Petry while strengthening their blue line with the likes of Karlsson, Letang, and Ryan Graves. DeSmith’s exit solidifies Tristan Jarry’s role as the team’s primary goalie.

While maintaining the status as the NHL’s oldest team last season, the Penguins are clearly targeting immediate success, hoping that their summer moves will help narrow the gap with top contenders in the East.

On the other side, the Sharks are focusing on rebuilding and future potential, leveraging the trade to create cap and financial flexibility for future opportunities.

The move symbolizes contrasting strategies between two teams, with the Penguins fighting for glory in the twilight of their iconic players’ careers, while the Sharks prepare for a fresh chapter, laying the groundwork for future success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: trade

Who was involved in the trade for Erik Karlsson?

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired Erik Karlsson in a three-way trade involving the San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens. Key players and picks were exchanged among the three teams.

What did the Penguins give up in the trade for Karlsson?

The Penguins sent a 2024 first-round pick, forward Mikael Granlund, and defenseman Jan Rutta to San Jose. They also traded goaltender Casey DeSmith, defenseman Jeff Petry, a 2025 second-round pick, and prospect Nathan Legare to Montreal.

Why was Erik Karlsson traded to the Penguins?

The trade reflects the Penguins’ ambition to contend for the Eastern Conference and leverage the remaining prime years of their star players like Crosby, Malkin, and Letang.

How does the trade impact the San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens?

The Sharks are focusing on rebuilding and creating financial flexibility for the future, while the Canadiens’ involvement ensured the deal’s salary cap compliance.

What other players were involved in this trade?

Apart from Karlsson, the Penguins also received forward Rem Pitlick, prospect Dillon Hamaliuk, and San Jose’s 2026 third-round pick. The Sharks acquired Mike Hoffman from Montreal.

When was the last time a defenseman was traded after winning the Norris Trophy?

Erik Karlsson is the first defenseman to be traded after winning the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s top defenseman since Doug Harvey in 1961.

How does this trade affect the Penguins’ salary cap?

Karlsson has four years left on his contract at a cap hit of $11.5 million. San Jose will retain $1.5 million of Karlsson’s salary, and the Penguins will hold on to $1.56 million of Petry’s salary, making the deal salary cap compliant.

What are the future plans of the Sharks after this trade?

The Sharks are looking towards rebuilding, and by retaining only 13% of Karlsson’s contract, they have opened themselves up to be significant spenders in the future, aligning with their longer-term goals.

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7 comments

CanadianPuck August 7, 2023 - 5:13 am

Dont know about this one for the Canadiens. Hope it pans out, but its a risky move.

Reply
HockeyFan42 August 7, 2023 - 7:54 am

Wow this trade is insane! Pittsburg going all in for sure, can’t wait to see Karlsson in a Penguins jersey!!

Reply
TradeAnalyzer August 7, 2023 - 2:44 pm

Big trade like this can either make or break a season. Pittsburgh’s taking a big risk here, but it might just pay off.

Reply
PenguinPower August 7, 2023 - 7:04 pm

Karlsson’s a great scorer but sometimes a liabilty on defense. Hope it doesn’t backfire on the Pens.

Reply
SharkAttack2023 August 7, 2023 - 8:06 pm

Really Sharks? trading away our star player? Don’t know if I like where this is going.

Reply
GoalieGuru91 August 7, 2023 - 9:50 pm

that’s a lot of players moving around. Gonna be interesting to see how these teams gel together in the new season.

Reply
StanleyCupDreamer August 8, 2023 - 3:30 am

The Penguins just got a lot stronger on the blue line. With Crosby, Malkin and now Karlsson, they’re a team to watch!

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