Sharks Rumors: 3 Teams Still In Play For Erik Karlsson Trade

Through all of the free agent signing frenzy going on over the weekend, we still have a huge domino yet to fall, as three-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson has officially requested a trade. Three teams have emerged as the most likely destination. 

The big question here is how much of Karlsson's massive $11.5M cap hit over the next four years will Sharks GM Mike Grier retain. If he only shaves a couple of million off, it could be tough to make a deal. But get it down to $7M or $8M, and we could have a trade ready to go. 

Karlsson, fresh off one of greatest offensive seasons ever for a defenseman, says his choice will be based entirely on which team gives him the best chance to lift a Stanley Cup.

Carolina Hurricanes

Likely the frontrunners. With Brett Pesce and his $4.025M cap hit also rumored to be on the move from Carolina, this could be a starting point for getting something done. The 'Canes are a Cup contender, and they could be looking at a move like this that could put them over the top. With Pesce on an expiring contract next season, it's a third team to move him to that could be the hold up here. 

Pittsburgh Penguins 

New GM Kyle Dubas has been extremely busy reshaping his team since free agency opened. He signed 8 UFAs on Day 1, the most ever by a Pens' GM in one day. And yet, you just know he'd love to make a big splash like trading for Karlsson. The problem is, they're now $1.5M over the cap. 

Jeff Petry's $6.25M cap hit would be a starting point to get a deal done here, but he would have to waive a no-move clause if the Sharks are on his list of 15 teams that he can block. 

Seattle Kraken

The Kraken have the cap room, at $14M. This would be the easiest deal to make. But how much would they be willing to pay to get him? There are also no bad contracts to move out. 

We'll continue to keep an eye on the Karlsson Sweepstakes.

Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports