Kyle Dubas makes his first splash in Pittsburgh as Penguins acquire Erik Karlsson

Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Cam Lewis
8 months ago
Everybody loves an August blockbuster.
A trade that had been speculated on for weeks finally came into fruition on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson in a three-team trade involving the San Jose Sharks and Montreal Canadiens.
Here’s the full trade, per Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli…
The Sharks are retaining $1.5 million per season on Karlsson’s contract, so he’ll carry a $10 million cap hit for the Penguins. Pittsburgh opened up the room to afford Karlsson by dumping four players. The Sharks took on a combined $7.75 million in Mikael Granlund and Jan Rutta while Montreal is absorbing nearly $6.5 million between Jeff Petry and Casey DeSmith.
The cost for Pittsburgh to execute this deal in terms of assets was their first-round pick in 2024, which winds up in San Jose, and their second-round pick in 2025, which went to Montreal. The roster players that Pittsburgh gave up were mostly cap burdens given their respective contracts. Petry’s spot on the roster is immediately replaced by Karlsson while Granlund, Rutta, and DeSmith can be replaced by less expensive players.
This is a huge move for Kyle Dubas, who took over as Pittsburgh’s president of hockey operations and general manager following the team’s wildly disappointing season in 2022-23. The Penguins missed the playoffs for the first time since Sidney Crosby’s rookie season in 2005-06 and Dubas’ goal is to turn them back into a contender before their core players retire. Crosby is now 35 while Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin are 36 and 37 respectively.
Karlsson signed an eight-year, $92 million deal with the Sharks back in June of 2019 but struggled through injuries during the first three years of the contract. He bounced back in 2022-23 and put together arguably the most impressive season of his career. Karlsson scored 101 points on a terrible Sharks team and became the first defenceman since Brian Leetch in 1991-92 to pass the century mark in a single season.

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