While the Sharks ultimately wound up acquiring defenseman Erik Karlsson, Ducks GM Bob Murray acknowledged to Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register that they had discussed a similar package of players. However, Murray stated that they opted to drop out of the talks when they realized that they wouldn’t have been able to realistically give him a contract extension:
“I couldn’t afford him, so I didn’t hold Pierre (Dorion, Senators GM). I said, ‘Hey, I can give you the things you got.’ I was more than capable of giving him what he got. But, if you can’t afford a person, why are you going to do that?”
While Anaheim has more than $6MM in cap space for the upcoming season (an amount that will drop once they re-sign winger Nick Ritchie), they already have over $69MM committed to just 14 players for 2019-20. Even if the salary cap goes up again as expected next summer, there’s no way the Ducks would have been able to afford an extension for Karlsson and have enough space to fill out their roster without moving out someone of significance. Instead, they’ll face off against him in San Jose where GM Doug Wilson is optimistic they can work out a new deal.
More from the Pacific:
- Golden Knights RFA defenseman Shea Theodore is open to both a short-term bridge deal or a long-term pact, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted in an appearance on Sportsnet 650 (audio link). However, the team is not happy with the numbers Theodore’s side has proposed in either case. While blueliners Josh Morrissey and Darnell Nurse signed nearly identical two-year pacts over the past few days, Theodore doesn’t quite have the track record that the others have as he has just 114 career regular season games (plus 40 postseason contests) under his belt which will make it difficult for him to seek a similar payday.
- Although he was classified as week-to-week with a back injury at the start of camp, Kings defenseman Derek Forbort may resume skating with the team as early as Saturday, reports Curtis Zupke of the LA Times (Twitter link). The injury was sustained at some point this past summer but if he’s able to participate in practice over the next few days, he should be on track to be available for the start of the season.