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Toronto Maple Leafs Escaped a Risky Deal With Erik Karlsson


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Julien Trekker
August 8, 2023  (9:28)
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As you know, Erik Karlsson got traded in a monster three-team deal involving the Penguins, the Sharks, and the Canadiens.

There's been some new information about the trade in the last few hours.
Apparently, Dubas started to work to get Karlsson when he was working in Toronto. If the Leafs didn't fire Dubas, they might have Karlsson on their roster today.
While it may look like a home run by Kyle Dubas in Pittsburgh, some argue that it wasn't such a great deal for the Penguins. Even some Leafs fans are happy that he didn't end up joining their team after all.
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Karlsson's Struggles

Last season, Karlsson was simply incredible. He scored 101 points and won the Norris Trophy. However, this was his first 50+ point season since he joined the Sharks five years ago. It's not a lot for someone earning $10M AAV...
Now that he'll get the chance to play for a top team again, he might get similar numbers as last year, but the Pens still need to moderate their expectations towards him.

The New Core Four

To add to the equation, let's not forget that Karlsson is getting old. The new Core Four in Pittsburgh includes Sidney Crosby (35), Evgeni Malkin (37), Kris Letang (36), and now Erik Karlsson (33). These four players earn a combined $31M of the salary cap.
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This also means that the Pens likely won't get any more assets for Karlsson when they're done with him. In a few years, he'll likely retire, and then they probably won't be able to trade him for picks or players.
People were talking about Karlsson like he's the player that you want on your team, but no one talks about his age and how his performances fluctuated in the past years. He might not be the hero needed in Pittsburgh after all, but he can surely help.
The Leafs might have dodged a bullet on this one.
As seen on Editor in Leaf - Toronto Maple Leafs Dodged a Bullet With Karlsson
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Toronto Maple Leafs Escaped a Risky Deal With Erik Karlsson

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