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Karlsson confirms he has spoken to Leafs, Pens, Hurricanes, Kraken


Defenceman Erik Karlsson confirmed on Friday that he has spoken to several teams as the San Jose Sharks attempt trade him. According to TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnson, the reigning Norris Trophy winner has spoken with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Seattle Kraken, and Carolina Hurricanes, plus others.

"I just want the best chance to get to the best team," Karlsson said after winning the Golden Puck as Sweden's best hockey player.

Karlsson has expressed an interest in being traded from San Jose in order to join a Stanley Cup contender and has been working with the Sharks in order to find a  potential trade partner.

Earlier in the week, Rob Rossi of The Athletic reported that Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and veteran defenceman Kris Letang "have endorsed acquiring Karlsson."

Pens president Kyle Dubas confirmed he had spoken to the Sharks about a Karlsson deal.

The Sharks are working with Karlsson on finding a potential trade, but his $11.5 million cap hit for the next four seasons is a roadblock as contenders look for San Jose to retain a significant portion.

Sharks’ general manager Mike Grier said last month he would not be willing to retain the max 50 per cent of Karlsson's cap hit to move him.

Karlsson put together a career season in 2022-23, recording 25 goals and 76 assists over 82 games. His 101 points was the 11th best point total in the NHL and first among defenceman, 25 points better than Winnipeg Jets blueliner Josh Morrissey, who ranked second in the category.

The 6-foot right-shot defenceman is a three-time Norris Trophy winner (2012, 2015, 2023) and has been named as an NHL first-team all-star five times (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2023)