REPORT: Erik Karlsson has spoken to the Maple Leafs this summer

Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
8 months ago
This not just in: Erik Karlsson still wants to be traded out of San Jose.
In an interview with Adam Johansson, a hockey reporter for Expressen, the reigning Norris Trophy winner confirmed that he’s spoken to a laundry list of teams this summer —including the Maple Leafs. For what it’s worth, Karlsson disclosed that Pittsburgh, Seattle, and Carolina, among others, were also on said list as well.
From a Leafs perspective, especially at this point in the summer, it’s probably a hard deal to pull off —unless the Sharks are down to eat a significant chunk of salary and the Leafs are willing to move a marquee name. Stranger things have happened, but at this point, Erik Karlsson to Toronto should still be considered a pipe dream. One can dream though, right?
To be fair, this isn’t new or shocking information. The Leafs have been linked to Karlsson since Brad Treliving pretty much took over. It’s no secret that Toronto’s still searching for a blue liner. On paper, Karlsson makes a lot of sense, but unfortunately, there’s this thing called the salary cap. Again, there’s no question the Leafs can get creative, but at this point, we all know what kind of players would have to be included in this deal to actually make it happen. On top of that, the Penguins and Canes have been hot on this trail for a while. There’s no question they’re in a better position to make this trade unfortunately.
Furthermore, what was interesting about this article/interview is the fact that Karlsson said he talks to his former teammate Jason Spezza quite a bit. Of course, Spezza’s now with the Pittsburgh Penguins, a team many perceive to be the frontrunner to land Karlsson.
There’s no question that the San Jose Sharks are firmly in a rebuild. That said, their GM Mike Grier has been steadfast in saying he’ll be patient with this process. He doesn’t want to give Karlsson away for nothing, which obviously makes an abundance of sense.
For now, the Leafs will continue to lurk around in the background.

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