Sun, Aug 6, 2023 at 11:40am

PENGUINS LAND THE BIG FISH!

In a three-team trade, the Pittsburgh Penguins acquired defenseman Erik Karlsson, forward Dillon Hamaliuk and a third-round draft pick in 2026 from the San Jose Sharks, and forward Rem Pitlick from the Montreal Canadiens; San Jose acquired forward Mikael Granlund, defenseman Jan Rutta and a conditional first round draft pick in 2024 from the Penguins, and winger Mike Hoffman from the Canadiens; and Montreal acquired defenseman Jeff Petry, goaltender Casey DeSmith, winger Nathan Legare and a second-round draft pick in 2025 from the Penguins.

What does it give the Pittsburgh Penguins
As the rumors have suggested all summer, Kyle Dubas has finally landed his top target! Karlsson is the reigning Norris Trophy winner, and joins Kris Letang on the right side of the Penguins defense to create one of the most gifted offensive duos from the back end in all of hockey. Expect Karlsson to greatly help the power play and off the rush–two areas Pittsburgh really struggled with last season. His cap hit will be $10 million for the next four seasons, after San Jose retained $1.5 million. Hamaliuk will likely spend 2023-24 in the AHL as a depth player. As for Pitlick, he has shown flashes of a two-way game and could get a look in Pittsburgh.

What does it give the San Jose Sharks
San Jose is in a full rebuild, especially now! Karlsson had publicly stated multiple times that he would not be returning for another season, so the Sharks had no choice but to move him. The wins for San Jose in this deal are the first-round pick in 2024 (which is top-10 protected, and could slide to 2025), and the fact they only had to retain $1.5 million on Karlsson's contract. They will likely look to move players such as Granlund and Rutta before the trade deadline to add more future assets. Hoffman likely has no trade value at this time. Sharks ownership should be pleased with this trade from a financial standpoint, though GM Mike Grier did not get nearly enough in return.

What does it give the
In somewhat of a surprise move, the Habs became the third team involved in this trade to make all of the money work. What comes as more of a shocker is Petry's return to Montreal–after requesting a trade during his first stint there. The Canadiens could trade him again, which seems likely at this point. DeSmith is a solid backup goalkeeper in the NHL, but may start 2023-24 as Montreal's third 'tender or even in the AHL. Legare never developed the way the Penguins hoped, but he is still young enough to figure it out. He will play in Laval (AHL) in all likelihood. The second-round pick in '25 is a nice addition, which was included for the price of picking up Petry.

Fantasy impact
With both Karlsson and Letang in Pittsburgh, do not expect both to produce at as high a level as in previous seasons. That does not mean they should not be selected this year. Karlsson's value should remain solid, while Letang may be the one whose value takes a hit. Granlund really struggled in Pittsburgh, but should be better in San Jose (he could not do worse, quite frankly). He is not going to block young talent and will probably be moved out at the first opportunity. Avoid Granlund. Petry was once a strong two-way defenseman who put up solid numbers. That could happen again, but only in the right situation (not Montreal). Hoffman has no value at this time and is probably a candidate to be buried in the AHL this season. Hamaliuk and Legare could use the change of scenery, but neither is a fantasy-worthy prospect at this time. Rutta has no value, while Pitlick and DeSmith may become victim of the numbers game.

Player focus

Pittsburgh Penguins

Erik Karlsson D

Rem Pitlick C/LW

Draft pick - Round 3 in 2026

Dillon Hamaliuk LW

Montreal Canadiens

Jeff Petry D

Casey DeSmith G

Draft pick - Round 2 in 2025

Nathan Legare RW

San Jose Sharks

Mikael Granlund C/W

Jan Rutta D

conditional draft pick - Round 1 in 2024

Mike Hoffman RW/LW