Erik Karlsson Blasts Canadian Media For His Trade Rumors

 The reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson was brought in to the Pittsburgh Penguins this season in a blockbuster deal, with the hope of making the team Stanley Cup contenders once again. With that plan backfiring, rumors began to leak about the possibility of a Karlsson trade at the deadline, perhaps even back to his original team, the Ottawa Senators. 

Karlsson clapped back at the Canadian media for spreading rumors that are "made up."

Yeah, that's Canada for you. I played there for a long time, so I kinda know how that game works. They've got a lot of things to talk about every day because they've got a lot of airtime, but very few things to actually discuss. They like to make up these 'what if' scenarios. And that's just the way it is. It's not something that I really worry too much about. 

Karlsson and the Penguins are wallowing around in seventh spot in the Metropolitan Division, and find themselves seven points out of a Wild Card spot with four other teams to leapfrog as well. 

We all knew the Penguins were looking to "get younger" at the trade deadline—GM Kyle Dubas said so himself—so it was natural to speculate if the team, in addition to wanting to move pending UFA Jake Guentzel (which they did), would also want to unload a very expensive player like Karlsson at age 33 with three more years left on his contract. The Pens are on the hook for $10 million annually on his $11.5M cap hit. 

Following a 101-point season last year, Karlsson this season has just 44 points on eight goals and 36 assists in 64 games.

Photo: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports