NHL Rumors: Penguins' Analyst Reignites Erik Karlsson Trade Rumors

Pittsburgh Penguins analyst Jason Mackey has recently reignited trade rumors surrounding defenseman Erik Karlsson, suggesting that a return to his former team, the Ottawa Senators, could be a viable option despite Karlsson's dismissals of such speculations.

Mackey points to Karlsson's personal connections to Ottawa, including his wife's ties to the city and former teammate Daniel Alfredsson's prominent role within the organization, as potential factors influencing a reunion.

While acknowledging the complexities posed by Karlsson's contract, Mackey emphasizes the potential for a significant roster shakeup should such a trade materialize, offering the Penguins a chance to restructure their defensive core.

Karlsson will be entering the sixth season of his 8-year, $92M contract next season, carrying an AAV of $11.5M.

Karlsson won the Norris Trophy in the 2022-23 season with the San Jose Sharks, racking up 25 goals and 76 assists for 101 total points, smashing his previous career-high of 82 points.

In his first season with the Penguins this past year, the 33-year-old recorded 11 goals and 45 assists for a total of 56 points across 82 games played. While these are still solid numbers for a defenseman, they are a bit underwhelming considering he was coming off a Norris Trophy-winning season.

It will be a very intriguing offseason for the Penguins, full of massive decisions regarding the roster and their aging core players, coming off a second straight season of missing the playoffs, which has not happened since 2006. Photo Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports