With Timo Meier already out the door, many have wondered if even more big changes will be coming to the San Jose Sharks before Friday’s trade deadline. More specifically, many have wondered if two-time Norris Trophy winner and leading defensive scorer Erik Karlsson could be traded. According to Karlsson himself, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be a possibility. In speaking to The Athletic’s Corey Masisiak, Karlsson said “it would be weird” if Sharks GM Mike Grier asked him to waive his no-trade clause just a few days before the deadline, indicating that it would be a complete shock at this point if he were dealt in the next few days.
While the 32-year-old has had a vintage season (he’s on pace to score 105 points) Karlsson’s $11.5MM cap hit through the 2026-27 season has seemingly presented a significant obstacle toward finding an agreeable trade. The Edmonton Oilers have been widely rumored as having had interest in acquiring Karlsson, only for any trade talks to stall once the issue of retained salary came under the microscope. Despite his stellar play, it could be the Sharks’ reported unwillingness to retain a major chunk of Karlsson’s average annual salary (more than $1-2MM per year) that has thrown a wrench in any blockbuster mid-season deal happening.
- With Karlsson seemingly off the market, the top defenseman on the market before Friday’s deadline is widely considered to be Arizona Coyotes blueliner Jakob Chychrun. The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta issued an update on Chychrun’s status, tweeting that trade “talk has picked up,” although no trade is expected to be imminent. He also adds that the Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, and Carolina Hurricanes are “three of the teams very much in the mix” to acquire Chychrun.
- Northeastern University captain Aidan McDonough has had a strong senior season for the Huskies, scoring 36 points in 31 games, and is nearing a significant decision regarding his professional career. He’ll have the ability to choose his pro destination this summer and could potentially sign with a different team besides the Vancouver Canucks, the club that selected him 195th overall at the 2019 draft. Per CHEK’s Rick Dhaliwal, McDonough “is still very open to signing in VAN,” and his ultimate decision is “not far away.” It’s likely that quite a few teams would be interested in adding McDonough, so should Vancouver get him it would be a quality addition to their prospect system.