Top five landing spots for Erik Karlsson
Matt Larkin of The Hockey News: Alas, Erik Karlsson had groin surgery this week but none of that matters now. Despite that, he is still a much coveted unrestricted free agent. The dropoff between Karlsson and players like Alexander Edler and Jake Gardiner is mindboggling. So, do not be surprised to see that $10-11 million AAV over seven years (eight from San Jose).
Montreal Canadiens — Montreal makes some sense and is still close to Ottawa. However, they overperformed last year and are not quite the contenders some other teams are.
New York Rangers — Every UFA gets linked to the Rangers it seems but why would Jeff Gorton do this when the rebuild is going so well? It just does not make sense.
Ottawa Senators — Karlsson wants to go home. His wife wants to go home. However, Eugene Melnyk still owns the house and that is a significant problem.
San Jose Sharks — How much do the Sharks drop off next year and can they re-sign Joe Pavelski as well? Is the “homesick” issue that much of one? If it is, then Erik Karlsson is gone.
Tampa Bay Lightning — Okay, cap space makes this insanely unlikely. Just to sign Brayden Point, Tampa Bay would have to do cap somersaults.
The latest on Joe Pavelski and San Jose
Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News: Meanwhile, the Pavelski negotiations seem to be ongoing now. The important thing for San Jose is that the forward feels healthier now than he did at the start of the playoffs. Pavelski got banged up during this run — with head, finger, and knee issues. Fortunately, those have healed or are healing now.
As for those negotiations, there feels like a lot of optimism floating around San Jose. Why wouldn’t there be? Pavelski scored 38 goals last year at age 34 and he is probably the best goal scorer in close in the league. His ability to tip pucks is unrivaled. That drives up his price tag but a hometown discount is likely for San Jose. Jeremy Roenick believes Pavelski “should be San Jose’s number one priority”. There is a good deal of truth to that statement.