The San Jose Sharks are intent upon improving from their 7th place finish in the Pacific Division last season. This team was out of playoff contention early in the year, and general manager Mike Grier is bound and determined that the team will improve in the 2023-24 season. To make that happen, he will almost have to trade elite defenseman Erik Karlsson.

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The San Jose defenseman won the Norris Trophy as the league's best blueliner last week at the NHL's award ceremony in Nashville. That honor could drive up the price for Karlsson in any potential trade.

There have been rumors of trades with any one of a number of teams, including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Seattle Kraken and the Ottawa Senators. However, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun that the Carolina Hurricanes have great interest in bringing Karlsson into the fold.

The Hurricanes have won the NHL's Metropolitan Division each of the last two season, but they have been stopped in the playoffs after both seasons. As a result, head coach Rod Brind'Amour is interested in improving his team in any way he can.

Karlsson would like to play for a team that has a legitimate chance of winning the Stanley Cup. “I think he would like the chance to have an opportunity to compete for the Stanley Cup, and I understand that,”  Grier said.

While defense is the strength of the Hurricanes, Karlsson's ability on the offensive end would give Carolina a new dimension. Karlsson scored 25 goals and 76 assists last season, and was the highest scoring defenseman in the NHL by a wide margin. He is not as dominant on the defensive side as he finished the season with minus-26 rating