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Pittsburgh Penguins Land Erik Karlsson in 3-Team Blockbuster Trade

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Karlsson trade
Erik Karlsson won his third Norris Trophy as the top defenseman in the NHL this past season — but he is moving east after being acquired by the Pittsburgh Penguins in a three-team blockbuster on Sunday morning. // AP Photo

The Pittsburgh Penguins finally got their defense-man Sunday morning when they completed a complex three-team trade with reigning Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson the centerpiece of the dealing.

The San Jose Sharks were adamant they would not retain a lot of Karlsson’s $11.5-million annual salary and stuck to it.

The Sharks will hold onto just 13 percent — or $1.5 million over the final four seasons of Karlsson’s contract.

Although Karlsson was the big name moving to Pittsburgh, the Montreal Canadiens were brought in to make the deal work and came out with some nice pieces as they got Jeff Petry, Casey DeSmith, Nathan Legare and a second-round pick in 2025.

Aside from Karlsson, the Penguins got a 2026 third-round pick, Dillon Hamaliuk and Rem Pitlick.

Pittsburgh retains $1.56 million (25 percent) of Petry’s remaining deal.

San Jose ended up getting back a first-round draft pick in 2024, Mikael Granlund, Jan Rutta — and former Florida forward Mike Hoffman.

Yes, Hoffman is finally a Shark.

One may remember in 2018 when Karlsson and Hoffman were not getting along in Ottawa, the Senators traded Hoffman to San Jose — who then flipped him to the Panthers that same day.

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Fairly ironic that Hoffman is a piece of this Karlsson deal and going to the Sharks for reals this time.

There were a lot of moving parts in a deal this big with Pittsburgh taking on a big piece as new GM Kyle Dubas tries to bolster his squad as core pieces Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang try for one more crack at the Cup.

Will it be enough to push the aging Pens back into contention?

We’ll see.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

Things are a lot different around the Florida Panthers since the last time Dmitry Kulikov slipped on the team’s jersey — including what the jersey itself looks like.

But, for the first time since being traded to Buffalo in 2016, Kulikov is back where it all began as he signed a one-year deal with Florida on July 1.

He says the Panthers remained close to his heart even as he moved from one team to another in the years since the initial trade.

— The Florida Panthers went to Switzerland to find Ludovic Waeber, signing him to a one-year deal and hoping their goalie department has uncovered a gem.

While it this season may be one of adjustment for Waeber, the 26-year-old is going to make a go of this thing.

— New Marlins slugger Jake Burger grew up in St. Louis and spent his youth playing a little hockey with one Matthew Tkachuk. A neat little story out of Little Havana

— Speaking of Kulikov, what numbers will the other new Panthers wear? And which former player wore it best?

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

While the Pittsburgh Penguins got the player they wanted at a price that did not break the bank, this team still has holes — and cannot be done just yet.

— Petry is back with the Montreal Canadiens and may just finish out the final two years of his contract there. But don’t bet on it. Montreal has some flexibility — and another trade chip.

— How do the playoff chances for the New York Islanders look this season? Not great, Bob.

— Taking a look at the big contract the Washington Capitals gave Tom Wilson last week — and how it may actually make some sense.

— The Philadelphia Flyers signed goalie Sam Ersson to a two-year deal.

— Taking a look at the top prospects for the Chicago Blackhawks.

FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK

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