Norris Trophy winner confirms he's had discussions with the Leafs about a potential trade

Ryan Smitheram
July 22, 2023  (8:32)

This past season, Erik Karlsson won his third Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman after skating in all 82 games for the Sharks and registered 101 points. For the past two years, there have been rumours of the Sharks trying to or wanting to trade him and the team is doing their due diligence with Karlsson this time around to find the right location that will give him the best chance to win.

The biggest issue in trading Karlsson is his contract and the 4-years and $11.5M AAV it comes with. San Jose GM Mike Grier has already said they won't retain 50% of Karlsson's contract and most teams that have the chance to win right now are at or over the cap limit currently, which complicates things even more.
Karlsson is currently back in Sweden enjoying some time with family and friends and recently sat down with Swedish reporter Adam Johansson to discuss his career, trade rumours and winning the "Golden Puck" for the third time as Sweden's top player. Johansson asked Karlsson which teams he has spoken to, (SJ has given permission to speak to teams). Karlsson confirmed he has spoken to Carolina, Pittsburgh, Seattle and Toronto. Karlsson also mentioned that he had spoken to former Leafs' GM Kyle Dubas and Advisor Jason Spezza last season when they were in Toronto.
Karlsson and Johansson also discussed the lengthy trade process with Karlsson saying, "It feels like I've tried to get as much information as I can from the teams that are interested. I will try to make a decision based on the information I received. I just want the best chance to get to the best team."
Whether we see a resolution to this soon or not remains to be seen, but Karlsson and the Sharks are doing everything they can to help each other get the best deal possible for both sides. It's now just a matter of which team wants the Norris Trophy winner the most and who can create the most cap flexibility to accommodate the 33-year-old's salary.
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Norris Trophy winner confirms he's had discussions with the Leafs about a potential trade

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