The San Jose Sharks landed Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson in a blockbuster deal with the Ottawa Senators last week, finally ending the speculation and drama that plagued the nation's capital.
In landing Karlsson, the Sharks definitely strike more fear into their opponents, especially the Pacific Division rivals. But Anaheim Ducks general manager Bob Murray revealed to Elliott Teaford of the Orange County Register that he had the necessary pieces to land Karlsson.
However, Murray was worried about sacrificing future assets for a player that only had one year left on his contract.
"You’re not going to trade for him for one year," Murray said. "You’ve got to be able to think you can sign him going forward and I just didn’t feel we would be in a position to sign him going forward. That’s the way it is right now with our hockey team."
The Sharks wound up dealing draft picks, roster player Chris Tierney and three prospects to the Senators for Karlsson. The Ducks could have probably topped the offer, given their plethora of quality defencemen - namely Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm and Brandon Montour. A package of draft picks and prospects could have also been sent to Ottawa for Karlsson.
But Murray said he wouldn't have been able to afford giving Karlsson an extension. The 28-year-old promises to earn over $10 million a season on his next contract. The Ducks have 12 players who carry at least three years left on their contracts, so Murray wouldn't be in good position to sign Karlsson long term.
Sometimes, the best moves are the ones you don't make. For Anaheim, sacrificing young assets to get one year out of Karlsson was simply to big of a risk for Murray, which is easy to understand.
The only downside? The Ducks must account for Karlsson, who joins a San Jose team that swept them in the opening round of the 2018 playoffs.