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Hurricanes’ Trade Target Erik Karlsson Headed to Pittsburgh

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The Erik Karlsson sweepstakes came to an end on Sunday, as the now-former San Jose Shark was traded to Pittsburgh in a three-team deal with the Canadiens.

Montreal’s Rem Pitlick and San Jose’s Dillon Hamaliuk join Karlsson in Pittsburgh, as the Penguins also acquired a 2026 third-round pick from the Sharks.

San Jose received a 2024 first-round pick, forward Mikael Granlund, and defenseman Jan Rutta from Pittsburgh, while the Canadiens sent forward Mike Hoffman to the Western Conference.

Montreal landed goaltender Casey DeSmith, defenseman Jeff Petry, forward Nathan Legare, and 2025 second-round selection.

What was rumored to be a big hiccup in negotiations over the past few weeks was the amount of salary the Sharks would retain and what Pittsburgh was willing to dish out to the 33-year old defenseman.

The Penguins will pay Karlsson $10 million over the next four seasons, while San Jose will owe $1.5 million per year.

Karlsson appeared in all 82 games this past season, recording 25 goals and 76 assists for an impressive 101 point season.

The acquisition of Karlsson by the Hurricanes’ Metro Division foe marks the biggest trade domino to fall this offseason.

Carolina was the rumored second team to be heavily involved in trade talks for the reigning Norris Trophy winner.

With salary cap room just under $1 million, there would have been many moving pieces involved, potentially including defenseman Brett Pesce or forward Teuvo Teravainen.

A trade is certainly not off the table for Don Waddell and company, but they missed out on the biggest trade target in the NHL this offseason.

As the beginning of training camp sits a month away, Carolina is still seen as the favorite in the Metropolitan Division, but it is clear that Pittsburgh is in win-now mode and will test the Hurricanes during the 2023-2024 campaign

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