Penguins Rumors: 3rd Team Likely To Be Involved in Potential Erik Karlsson Trade

The Pittsburgh Penguins remain the leading contender to land Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, if the San Jose Sharks do finally submit to a trade. But it won't be easy for Kyle Dubas to land the 100-point D-man. 

According to a new report in The Athletic, Penguins beat writer Rob Rossi says that a third team will likely be needed to pull off the deal, for two main reasons:

One, with the Sharks seemingly unwilling to retain enough of Karlsson's $11.5M cap hit to fit into the Penguins' tight cap situation, another team will have to be recruited to eat some of Karlsson's money (with the Pens sending an asset to that 3rd team for doing so). 

And secondly, current Pens blueliner Jeff Petry and his $6.25M cap hit will have to be moved, but Petry has a modified no-trade clause in his contract, with a list of 15 teams that are off-limits. Dubas has already chatted with Petry about it, and they will have to find a spot other than San Jose that's he okay with. 

In addition, Dubas has been canvassing his own team about the Karlsson trade possibility, and Rossi says that both captain Sidney Crosby and top Penguins defenseman Kris Letang have endorsed bringing in the 3-time Norris winner. Letang has even reportedly agreed to "change his role on the top power-play unit so Karlsson could quarterback it," though he will still retain his No. 1 defense pairing spot. 

So while the hot stove has cooled a bit during the heat of the summer, machinations are still well underway to get a deal done sooner or later.

Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports