Erik Karlsson to Pittsburgh in a three-team trade with Sharks and Habs

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Erik Karlsson is back east to shake up the conference in a three-team trade.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, long rumored to be the top contender for the 100-point Norris Trophy winner after he expressed a desire to leave the San Jose Sharks, who are in the process of rebuilding, secured Karlsson Sunday morning in a three-team deal with the Montreal Canadiens as a pay vehicle exit.

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In the complicated exchange, Pittsburgh gets Karlsson, forward Rem Pitlick from the Habs, and both forward Dillon Hamaliuk, as well as a third-round pick in 2026 from the Sharks.

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San Jose gets Pittsburgh’s first-rounders in 2024, veteran forward Mike Hoffman (via Montreal), Mikael Granlund and defenseman Jan Rutta, both from Pittsburgh. The Sharks keep $1.5 million of Karlsson’s salary, while the Pens get 25% of the cap from forward Jeff Petry, who is returning to Montreal, along with a second-round pick in 2025, goaltender Casey DeSmith and forward Nathan Lagare

For Kyle Dubas, president of the Pens’ hockey operations, who just announced he will also serve as GM, this is the boldest of a series of moves to get the Pens back into the playoffs.


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Karlsson, 33, now has a reduced cap of $10 million for the next four years. Previously, Dubas had added forwards Noel Acciari and Lars Eller through free agency. Karlsson and his agent had spoken to many teams to facilitate a trade, including the Maple Leafs, Dubas’ former employers as GM.

Montreal is keeping no salary from Pitlick or Hoffman, saving $1.5 million on Petry’s salary after originally transferring him to Pittsburgh, and has now created some opportunities for younger players. Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reported that Montreal was not on Petry’s 15-man no-trade list and while they are in contention for the playoffs and he could become an instant trade lure, he could end up staying.

DeSmith will challenge Jake Allen and Cayden Primeau after a career-high 2,066 minutes last year and a .905 save rate. Erik Karlsson to Pittsburgh in a three-team trade with Sharks and Habs

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