Insider identifies two Eastern Conference teams who may be favourites to land Erik Karlsson

Dean Chaudhry
November 18, 2022  (6:27 PM)

The San Jose Sharks are a team that needs to find a way to free up significant cap space to really get their rebuild rolling. They were able to trade Brent Burns (with some salary retention) to the Carolina Hurricanes over the off-season and now all eyes turn to Erik Karlsson, whose contract runs till the end of the 2026-27 season at an $11.5 million AAV.

They may have difficulties finding a suitor for Marc-Edouard Vlasic and his $7 million cap hit for the next 3 seasons, captain Logan Couture carries a cap hit of $8 million until the end of 2026-27 season, and they just re-signed Tomas Hertl, who figures to be a key contributor for them down the road. Timo Meier is in need of a new contract next season and will most certainly command a lot more than his current $6 million AAV.
Karlsson is having a renaissance season with 11 goals and 28 points in just 17 games and as the Sharks are plummeting to a 6-10-3 record, GM Mike Grier said moving Karlsson is something that he'd entertain, but only if Karlsson is on board - as he holds a full no-movement clause. It has been reported that Karlsson is very happy in San Jose and his family is keen on staying, so it seems like a tough situation for the Sharks to navigate.
If he ever makes his intentions clear that he wants out of San Jose, there will be plenty of suitors even with his very high cap hit. Elliotte Friedman talked about the situation on his 32 Thought podcast and said that if a situation were to occur where he wants out, look to Florida and Washington as 2 teams vying for his services.
He said Florida is a skilled offensive team who have money coming off the books next year and will be a lot more flexible than most think. As for Washington, he said that they currently only have 1 defenseman signed through past this season in John Carlson.
Of course, salary retention is going to be essential because no one is going to take $11.5 million straight up, let alone contending teams with very little leeway. San Jose already retained salary in a cap dump trade for Burns as they are eating $2.72 million until the end of the 2024-25 season. Carolina found it a lot more digestible to take on 37-year-old Burns at a cap hit of $5.28 million. The same thing should be expected in any Karlsson trade.
Insider identifies two Eastern Conference teams who may be favourites to land Erik Karlsson

Will Erik Karlsson agree to waive his NMC for a trade this season?

Yes8674.8 %
No2925.2 %
Latest 10 stories