Erik Karlsson, Sharks Agree on 8-Year Contract Reportedly Worth More Than $88M

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI - MAY 15: Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks passes the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the first period in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Enterprise Center on May 15, 2019 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Erik Karlsson is reportedly staying in San Jose.

The Sharks announced on Monday that they had signed Karlsson to an eight-year contract extension.

"We are extremely pleased that Erik and his wife Melinda have committed to the San Jose Sharks and that they have done so prior to July 1," general manager Doug Wilson said in a press release. "Players with Erik's elite level of talent are rare and when they become available, it's important to be aggressive in pursuing them. He is a difference maker who consistently makes the players around him better. 

According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN, the star defenseman reportedly will be paid "north of $11 million per season," adding the Sharks have made "a huge move in keeping the superstar D from hitting the market."

TSN's Bob McKenzie added more details on the potential payout:

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The Ottawa Senators—who traded Karlsson to the Sharks in September for Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo, Josh Norris, Rudolfs Balcers and draft picks—will receive a 2021 second-round pick as a result of Karlsson's extension, per LeBrun.

Keeping Karlsson comes at a high cost and one that could leave the Sharks a bit top-heavy going forward:

Per TSN, the reported deal will make Karlsson among the highest-paid players in hockey:

"Los Angeles Kings defenceman Drew Doughty is currently set to be the league's highest paid defenceman next season, when his eight-year, $88 million extension kicks in. Connor McDavid remains the NHL's highest-paid players, carrying a $12.5 million cap hit, followed by Auston Matthews who will make $11.634 million next season on his new deal."

Karlsson was limited during the regular season, as a groin injury kept him to just 53 appearances. He scored three goals and had 45 points overall in that span and continued to show his value in the postseason, notching 16 points in 19 games while averaging 24 minutes and 45 seconds of ice time.

Behind Karlsson, the Sharks reached the Western Conference Finals, where they lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in five games. 

Regardless of that result, the city of San Jose clearly got its hooks into Karlsson:

The return of Karlsson should keep the Sharks in contention for the foreseeable future. But it also calls into question whether players like Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton will be able to return for financial reasons. Monday is a good day for the Sharks and their fans, but there are still questions to be answered this offseason.