With the trade deadline now less than a month away, Erik Karlsson’s situation in San Jose gets a little more interesting. The defenseman is a pending unrestricted free agent and while the Sharks undoubtedly want to re-sign him, they will have to wait until after the February 25th deadline if they want to do an eight-year deal. Karlsson told reporters, including NHL.com’s Eric Gilmore, that there remains no timetable for holding discussions about a new deal. It’s worth noting that he also expressed an appreciation for the patience the organization has shown with him thus far. The 28-year-old got off to a slow start this season and while he still has just three goals, he ranks fifth overall in points by a defenseman with 43. Karlsson is undoubtedly set to land a substantial raise on his current $6.5MM cap hit on his next deal.
More from the Pacific Division:
- While Karlsson is garnering the most attention, the Sharks have another prominent pending UFA in center Joe Pavelski. There haven’t been any discussions regarding a possible contract extension yet (even dating back to the offseason) but he indicated to Paul Gackle of The Mercury News that he’s hopeful that a deal to stay can be reached: “All I’ve known is San Jose, and at the end of the day, that’s probably all I want to know.” The 34-year-old is on pace for the first 40-goal season of his career which would give him even more bargaining power if he makes it to the open market.
- The Kings are among the teams that have been keeping tabs on college defenseman Alec Ralhauser, reports Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider. The 23-year-old is in his junior year with Bowling Green and last season was quite productive from the back end with 39 points in 41 games. Rauhauser’s offensive numbers are a bit quieter so far this season but it shouldn’t stop him from generating a fair bit of interest in the college free agent market once the calendar turns to March.