Rumour Report: Erik Karlsson contenders begin to surface

Suitors for the pending UFA superstar have already begun to emerge.

  • There's still a lot of hockey left to be played, but teams are already planning ahead for the Erik Karlsson Sweepstakes on July 1st.
  • Karlsson has had a fairly successful, if not injury-plagued campaign with the Sharks, and could be headed for a deep run this postseason.

  • The Sharks were surprise winners of the Karlsson sweepstakes in the summer, seemingly nicking the defenseman off the Senators for a relatively minor collection of assets. The Sharks - who previously convinced pending UFA Evander Kane to stick around - are in good position to back up the money truck for Karlsson. That said, it's believed the Sharks were not high on Karlsson's list of teams he wanted to play for last summer. We'll find out if nice weather and good teammates have convinced him otherwise.
  • Vegas and Tampa Bay - two teams who came very close to adding Karlsson last summer - are also likely to circle back and make pitches. Tampa has a cap situation to wrangle with this summer, but may be able to ship off some assets in anticipation. Rumoured names going out the door are pending UFAs Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi, as well as Ryan Callahan and JT Miller.

  • The Rangers have emerged as another team that will likely take a swing at Karlsson, especially if they can't add Artemi Panarin. Rumblings out of New York suggest the team is antsy to become a contender again and will add whatever talent it can this summer.
  • The Predators have been linked to Karlsson as well, but it's not entirely clear how that team could fit in yet another top pairing defensemen. There have been quiet rumblings that PK Subban could be moved again - we'll see.
  • The Stars and Canucks have been linked to Karlsson in the past - it's especially hard to see Vancouver not taking another run at him this summer.
  • The EK Sweepstakes are just getting started with plenty of track left to be run. More teams are likely to emerge in the coming weeks.
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