We’re not quite at the Ron Paul “It’s Happening” meme just yet, but prepare to get ready to hold onto your butts, everyone!
There is a legit attempt to get an Erik Karlsson trade done today. Would involve Pittsburgh, San Jose and at least one other team to facilitate the cap gyrations. We will see how it plays out…but everyone grinding in that direction.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 6, 2023
The Penguins have to decide today if they want to use a buyout, or the window closes until after next season for them.
It’s believed, whether to San Jose or somewhere else, that Mikael Granlund and Jeff Petry will have to be off the Pens’ roster in order to fit Erik Karlsson into the salary cap situation.
Whether any of those movements are via trade or buyout still remains to be seen, but not for much longer.
Today could finally be the conclusion of the Karlsson trade saga. Pittsburgh has been on the hunt to make a big swing and add the three-time Norris winning defenseman since practically Kyle Dubas got to town in June. It’s been complicated to arrange all the pieces so they fit in a way that satisfies a lot of different parties Petry, for instance, has a fairly restrictive 15-team partial no trade clause to consider. San Jose has their own needs and wants. Karlsson has a full no movement clause. Pittsburgh has negative cap space at this point. Granlund is expensive and undesirable as a result.
It’s been a lot, and could require some clever and unique maneuvering to steer pieces like Granlund and Petry away from the Sharks - who likely don’t want expensive veterans (or in Petry’s case, the expensive veteran likely doesn’t want to relocate to a bad team far from home).
Then again, often in the NHL climate where there is a will, there is a way. Dubas has worked magic before, like at the last trade deadline where he found a way to add Ryan O’Reilly, Jake McCabe, Luke Schenn and Sam Lafferty to what already was a capped out team. Now he’s angling to reshape the Pens’ defense in a major way if he can pull off a Karlsson transaction.
As Friedman notes, “legit attempt” doesn’t necessarily mean an open-and-shut deal will be finalized. Sometimes attempts go sour, and in a complicated series of transactions like this it wouldn’t take much for one of many parties to shoot the whole effort down. But you can’t get anywhere without the effort, and it looks like the Pens will be doing all they can today to finally wrap this long-rumored deal up.