The San Jose Sharks face many questions heading into the off-season and the more intriguing discussion may surround the future of the team’s blue line.
“It does look like that there were some preliminary, very preliminary trade talks this year involving defenceman Erik Karlsson and a couple of teams,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on the 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Now, I don’t necessarily think that’s going to go anywhere, but what I do think it says is that the sharks recognize having two elite Norris trophy-winning right-shot defencemen hasn’t always meshed as well as the team would have hoped.”
Longtime general manager Doug Wilson recently stepped down after 19 seasons with the Sharks. He was instrumental in the moves that brought Burns and Karlsson to San Jose but now a new regime could be presented with a chance to make some tweaks.
Burns still has three seasons left on his deal and carries an $8 million cap hit. According to CapFriendly, Burns also has a modified no-trade clause where he has to submit a three-team trade list every year on July 1.
Karlsson is in the third year of an eight-year contract extension he signed back in 2019. The 31-year-old still has five years left on the deal which has an $11.5 million cap hit and a no-movement clause.
“The Sharks have made it clear in their GM search that they are still going to contend. But in a tight cap world, this might be a luxury they have to explore” Friedman adds. “Burns in particular has less term on his contract than Karlsson, they’re both great players but I think if the opportunity comes to them where they get something they like, that is something everyone’s gonna have to watch with San Jose on the right side of their defence.”