San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson on potential trade to NHL contender: ‘I want to win’

With the defenseman in the midst of a career season at age 32, trade talks appear to be heating up around San Jose Sharks veteran Erik Karlsson.

Signed through the 2026-27 season at the NHL’s fourth-highest cap hit this season – $11. 5 million – Karlsson owns a full no-move clause and will have final say on any potential deal. He told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun and Ryan Rishaug on

On Erik Karlsson and the trade deadline, on loving life in San Jose but also desperately wanting to win. The decision that awaits him perhaps sometime over the next year. My latest:

via @TheAthletic https://t.co/ol1QUiMsta

— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) January 20, 2023

“>the “Got Yer Back” podcast that the opportunity to chase a Stanley Cup will weigh into his decision if one is required.

“I’m always going to advocate that. That’s always been who I am, and I want to win,” Karlsson said. “That’s always going to be my objective. I think my family knows and understands that, and they support me in whatever decision I want to take professionally. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to make a move right now with everything. But if it comes right down to it, I don’t think there would be any issues doing it. And I don’t think my family would have any problem adjusting or that I wouldn’t get the same support from my wife, because I know she wants the same things for me.

“I will never sway from that. I want to win. And I think as you get older and you’ve been around for a longer time, you realize that it’s not as easy as it looks, and you’ve got to hit it right at the right time.”

Karlsson is tied for the NHL lead in assists this season and sits sixth in points. His 15 goals are the most among defenseman and his 62 points are 12 more than any other blueliner.

Acquired by the Sharks in a trade from the Ottawa Senators in 2018, Karlsson has already set new highs in goals and points in a season since joining the team. He’s on pace for 27 goals and 111 points this season, which would blow past his career-best totals of 21 goals – set with the Senators in 2014-15 – and 82 points achieved with Ottawa a year later in 2015-16.

LeBrun reported earlier this month that teams have called the Sharks to inquire on Karlsson, though his contract continues to limit the number of potential landing spots.

Playing in his 14th NHL season, Karlsson said he feels more prepared for a trade than he did in 2018, noting that family will be paramount in his decision-making process this time around.

“Yeah, I hope so,” Karlsson said. “Now I have a family. I have two kids and a wife and a beautiful home here, and we’re kind of rooted here. So I think that will be the biggest challenge, if anything. You know, I think hockey-wise I’m in a good state of mind where I’m just focusing on the things that I can control. I think when I got dealt from Ottawa, it was a little bit different. Because I thought I would never leave there. I didn’t think it was in the cards for me. And it wasn’t something I preferred.

“So yeah, I do think I will handle this a little bit differently. I don’t think it’s something that I’m walking around thinking about too much. I think that once we go a little bit deeper here and if things start to really materialize and start setting in, maybe that will change. But as of right now, I’m happy here, my family likes it here, and you know I’m feeling good.

“Whatever they decide to do about me, it’s their decision, and once they present me with that, then I’ll take a stance.”

The Sharks are shaping up as sellers once again at the trade deadline, staring down missing the playoffs for the fourth straight year with a 14-23-9 through 46 games.

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