Top Stories of 2023 – No. 5: Erik Karlsson would reportedly waive his no-movement clause to join the Edmonton Oilers

Photo credit:Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
5 months ago
Now that we’re into the Christmas break, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at the year that was. Over the next few days, we’ll be counting down the most-viewed stories at Oilersnation of 2023.
We’re at number five in the countdown, looking back to earlier in the year when it in late February, it was reported that then San Jose Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson would be open to waiving his no-trade clause to join the Edmonton Oilers.
After a rabid few days of reports circling the San Jose Sharks, Edmonton Oilers, and Erik Karlsson, things seemed to cool down heading into the weekend and into this week.
That is until NHL insider Chris Johnston blew the doors open on Tuesday night reporting that Karlsson would be open to waiving his no-movement clause to join the Oilers.
“Things have gone quiet since the Oilers and Sharks re-engaged in trade discussions on Karlsson earlier this month,” Johnston wrote. “Not only has San Jose established a high asking price on a defenceman playing at a ridiculous 110-point pace, but it has also so far been unwilling to entertain retaining more than 20 percent of Karlsson’s significant cap hit. That’s a non-starter for Edmonton.
“However, it’s believed Karlsson is open to waiving his no-movement clause to join Connor McDavid and Co. and there’s still time for these sides to take another run at a blockbuster.”
While it’s been assumed that Karlsson would likely waive if given the opportunity to chase Stanley Cups with the Oilers, this is the first definitive word either way about what could happen. It’s obviously a significant hurdle in the trade talks, but as Johnston wrote, it’s not what could be holding things up.
The discussion around salary retention is a must when it comes to Karlsson. The Oilers, nor any other team in the league, should have to be on the hook for the full four years and the $11.5 million yearly cap hit he carries. Last week, Pierre LeBrun reported via a Sharks source that the club would have no limit on how much they would be willing to retain up to the 50 percent max, but Johnston doubled down Tuesday that they haven’t budged off 20 percent.
Karlsson, as well know, landed with the Pittsburgh Penguins in a huge three-way trade that looped in the Montreal Canadiens. In short, the Penguins gave up forward Mikael Granlund, defenceman Jan Rutta and a top-10 protected 2024 first round pick to the Sharks, while sending pending UFA goalie Casey DeSmith, defenceman Jeff Petry with $1.562-million in retained salary, and AHL forward Nathan Legare to the Canadiens.
While Karlsson’s not scoring at the 100-point pace he was last year, he’s still seeing success with the Penguins, scoring six goals and 22 points in 32 games. His team as a whole, however, have struggled mightily this year going 15-13-4 for 34 points, the second-fewest in the Metro Division ahead of only the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The full top 15

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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