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Erik Karlsson Wants Trade Out of San Jose. But Where?

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Karlsson sharks
San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson pictured during a game against the Washington Capitals on Feb. 12. (AP Photo/Jess Rapfogel)

Erik Karlsson wants out of San Jose and it sounds like the Sharks are going to oblige him with a trade before the coming season starts.

The question is: Where will the reigning Norris Trophy winner go?

“I have been open about wanting to try to win and San Jose has been open that it will not happen there,” Karlsson told Expressen after accepting the Golden Puck Award as the top Swedish hockey player for the third time.

“We have a good relationship and we understand each other, even though it is not a fun situation to go through.”

Word is the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes are interested in making a deal with the Sharks but Karlsson told Expressen that other teams have reached out.

“I have spoken with Seattle, yes, also some with Toronto. There have been a few more teams as well,” Karlsson said. “Yes, there is interest. Then it’s about putting everything together. That’s the hard part. We’ll see if it works out.”

Indeed.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

While the Florida Panthers were mentioned by some national outlets as a potential trading partner for the star defenseman, it never made much sense not with the length of Karlsson’s contract and amount of money still owed on it.

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But with Vladimir Tarasenko still available as a free agent, could the Panthers be tempted?

Certainly. Could they pull it off? Probably not.

— One year ago, the Panthers pulled off a mid-summer blockbuster by sending Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar to Calgary in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk.

Not a bad first year, eh?

Aleksi Heponiemi will not be playing for the Panthers this season — or the Charlotte Checkers, either — after signing a one-year deal in Switzerland.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson says he is healthy after breaking his foot twice in the past year and he will be walking into a great opportunity with the Panthers.

Ryan Lomberg says his broken thumb, the one which needed surgery during the opening round against the Bruins, is all healed and he is ready for camp to get going.

Casey Fitzgerald is returning to the Panthers after getting a new contract.

Ryan McAllister had a strong freshman season at Western Michigan before signing as an undrafted free agent with the Panthers. He’ll get a shot come training camp.

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

If the Pittsburgh Penguins are seriously in the mix for Karlsson, they’re going to have to move some money.

The cost may not be cheap.

— The Boston Bruins terminated the contract of controversial defenseman Mitchell Miller in February.

— What the Montreal Canadiens goaltending situation looks like moving forward.

— The Philadelphia Flyers are ranked dead last in Sportsnet’s NHL rankings. The Panthers come in at No. 11.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

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