NHL Rumors: 3 Teams In Trade Talks With Sharks On Erik Karlsson

Fresh off winning his third Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman after a stunning 100-point season, Erik Karlsson's thoughts can now turn back to his future, and the trade market, in particular. 

The San Jose Sharks are reportedly engaged in talks with three teams at the moment. And sure, what team wouldn't love to have the 3-time Norris king? But at what cost? In particular, it's the cost of that $11.5M cap hit for several more years that is the major sticking point. Teams want the Sharks to absorb some of that. 

On their Ray & Dregs insider podcast Tuesday morning, Ray Ferraro opined, "I'm sure he and his agents are finding (that) it's not Erik Karlsson the player (that's making a deal difficult), but 'what do you do with this $11 million bucks for the next four years, per?'"

Insider Pierre LeBrun on TSN Hockey Insiders notes three teams that have been in talks with the Sharks about Karlsson:

Carolina Hurricanes

The 'Canes traded for a former Norris Trophy winner, Brent Burnes, just one year ago. Could they be ready to add another? They are certainly interested, but then again, the Burnes/Karlsson combo was tried before (in San Jose), and as Ferraro notes, "it already didn't work once. So now you're gonna change jersey colors and it's gonna work? That's a big swing."

Seattle Kraken

The Kraken made an unexpected run to the second round in the playoffs this season, and they're looking to take that next step. Adding a premier defenseman and a powerplay quarterback like Karlsson would get them there. 

Toronto Maple Leafs

The Leafs have had interest in bringing in Karlsson in the past, though that was under the old regime. Would new GM Brad Treliving look to shake things up by making such a huge move?

All of this leads us to consider another surprising potential suitor:

"I'm curious about Pittsburgh," said Insider Darren Dreger. "Kyle Dubas loved the idea of bringing Karlsson to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He did. But they just couldn't execute it, it just wasn't going to work. But I wonder if Dubas wants to try to make a splash with the Penguins, so I'll keep an eye on that."

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports