The Erik Karlsson saga took another twist on Sunday night.
San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier told San Jose Hockey Now‘s Sheng Peng that as of Sunday, he didn’t think Karlsson would be moved before the end of the season.
“At this time, I’m anticipating he’s here for the rest of the season,” Grier said.
However, Grier didn’t completely rule out a deal, saying that if a team was really desperate to add the 32-year-old blue liner, a trade could potentially be made as “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Karlsson has seen his name in the trade rumour mill over the past few weeks, including some speculating about a move to the Edmonton Oilers who are looking to upgrade their back end.
Karlsson, 32, is having a tremendous bounce-back season, leading the Sharks in scoring with 18 goals and 58 assists for 76 points in 58 games. At his current pace, Karlsson would become just the third defenceman to register 105 points in a season, the other two being Bobby Orr (who did it five times) and Paul Coffey (who did it four times).
The previous career high by the Swede was 2015-16, when he had 82 points while a member of the Ottawa Senators, who drafted him 15th overall in 2008. In 896 career games with the Senators and Sharks, Karlsson has 171 goals and 565 assists for 736 points.
Karlsson struggled with injuries after being traded to the Sharks by the Senators on Sept. 13, 2018, missing 79 games in his first four seasons with San Jose. In fact, he has already played more games this season than he had in any of his previous years with the Sharks. But the departure of veteran defenceman Brent Burns to Carolina and a return to health have seemingly opened the door for Karlsson to have the best season statistically of his career.
A two-time Norris Trophy winner, Karlsson has a $11.5-million cap hit for four more seasons, which means he’ll be 37 when his contract expires.