This year’s NHL off-season has been full of surprises and blockbuster trades, with one of the most significant moves being Erik Karlsson’s trade from the San Jose Sharks to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a three-team deal that also involved the Montreal Canadiens, several players and draft picks changed hands, making it a complex and intriguing transaction.
The Three-Team Deal
In the trade, Pittsburgh acquired Erik Karlsson, Rem Pitlick, Dillon Hamaliuk, and San Jose’s third-round pick in the 2026 NHL draft. In return, San Jose received Pittsburgh’s first-round pick in the upcoming season, which is top-10 protected, along with Mike Hoffman, Mikael Granlund, and Jan Ruuta. Montreal, on the other hand, received Casey DeSmith, Jeff Petry, Pittsburgh’s 2025 second-round pick, and Nathan Legare.
Player Salaries and Retentions
The trade involved some intricate salary cap considerations. Erik Karlsson, a former Norris Trophy winner, comes with a significant cap hit of $11.5 million for the next four seasons. Although he has been struggling defensively since leaving the Ottawa Senators in 2018, his offensive prowess cannot be denied. With an impressive 101 points in 82 games last season, Karlsson’s offensive contributions make him a valuable addition to any team.
The San Jose Sharks retained $1.5 million of Karlsson’s salary in the trade, while the Penguins retained 25% of Jeff Petry’s salary, which amounts to $1.56 million. Petry, a seasoned defenseman, has a cap hit of $6.25 million for the next two seasons.
Pittsburgh Penguins’ Gambit
For the Penguins, this trade represents a significant move made by their general manager, Kyle Dubas. It allowed Pittsburgh to part ways with players like Petry, Granlund, and Ruuta, who were not performing up to expectations. In return, they acquired the star defenseman Erik Karlsson, who, despite his defensive shortcomings, can be a game-changer on the offensive end. Karlsson’s offensive skills could elevate Pittsburgh’s power play to an almost unstoppable level.
The New Additions
As part of the deal, Pittsburgh also acquired Rem Pitlick, a 26-year-old forward who has shown promise in his 123 NHL games across various teams. Last season, he contributed 15 points in 46 games for the Montreal Canadiens.
Dillon Hamaliuk, a 22-year-old winger drafted by the Sharks in 2019, played only six games with the ECHL’s Wichita Thunder last season. His performance and development will be crucial for San Jose’s future success.
Mike Hoffman, a 33-year-old forward, has seen a dip in his production in recent years after a career-high 29-goal season with the Florida Panthers in 2019-20. Nonetheless, he brings experience and scoring ability to San Jose, with 464 points in 679 NHL games.
Mikael Granlund, a 31-year-old winger, had an impressive 64-point season with the Nashville Predators in 2021-22. With 484 career points in 750 NHL games, Granlund adds depth and offensive potential to the Sharks’ roster.
Jan Ruuta, a 33-year-old defenseman, comes to San Jose after playing 56 games with Pittsburgh last season, contributing nine points. His defensive skills and experience will be an asset to the Sharks’ blue line.
Montreal Canadiens’ Gain
For the Montreal Canadiens, this trade brings in Casey DeSmith, a capable backup goaltender who played a career-high 38 games last season for Pittsburgh. DeSmith’s performance and reliability in the net will provide much-needed support for Montreal’s goaltending depth.
Jeff Petry’s departure leaves a void on Montreal’s defense, but the acquisition of Nathan Legare could offer potential upside for the team. Legare, a 22-year-old third-round pick, has yet to fully blossom in the NHL, but his development could prove vital for the Canadiens in the future.
The three-team trade involving Erik Karlsson, Jeff Petry, and several other players and draft picks has reshaped the dynamics of the NHL. Pittsburgh’s acquisition of Karlsson could be a game-changing move, providing an offensive boost to their lineup. San Jose’s gains in Mike Hoffman, Mikael Granlund, and Jan Ruuta aim to strengthen their roster, while Montreal adds goaltending depth and potential with Casey DeSmith and Nathan Legare.
As the upcoming NHL season approaches, fans and analysts will closely watch the impact of this trade on the teams involved. Each team has made calculated decisions in the pursuit of success, and only time will reveal the true outcome of this massive three-team deal
Source : Audacy
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