Pittsburgh Acquires Erik Karlsson From San Jose, Lose Granlund, DeSmith, Rutta, Petry In Three-Way Trade With Montreal

Photo: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired reigning Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson, a 2026 third-round pick, and left-wing Dillon Hamaluk from the San Jose Sharks in addition to right-wing Rem Pitlick from the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday. San Jose will retain $1.5 million of Karlsson’s $11.5 million cap hit for each of the next four seasons.

San Jose acquired Pittsburgh’s 2024 first-round pick (if it is in the top-10, Pittsburgh can send their 2025 first-round pick instead), center Mikael Granlund, right-wing Mike Hoffman (from Montreal), and defenseman Jan Rutta. Montreal acquired defenseman Jeff Petry, goaltender Casey DeSmith, center Nathan Legare, and Pittsburgh’s 2025 second-round pick in the three-way trade.

Karlsson, who is 33 and shoots with his right hand, set career-highs in goals (25), assists (76), and points (101) in 82 games last season, his first time playing in 60 since 2017-18. Karlsson also tallied a 53.59% Corsi-for percentage, 53.46% expected-goals-for percentage, and 54.61% scoring chances-for percentage at five-on-five while averaging 25:37 per game (fifth among NHL defensemen), including 3:24 on the power play (12th) and 24 seconds on the penalty kill.

Karlsson has 178 goals and 761 points in 920 career NHL regular-season games with San Jose and the Ottawa Senators. He has posted at least 60 points in a season six times over his 14 seasons and 10 goals eight.

Karlsson gives Pittsburgh, who missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 16 seasons last year, another power play threat and right-handed blueliner along with Kris Letang. The team tallied a league-average 3.18 goals-per-game and 21.7% power-play efficiency (14th).

Karlsson, who has collected eight goals and 53 points in 67 career postseason games, also won the Norris Trophy with Ottawa in 2012 and 2015.

Pitlick, 26, piled up six goals and 15 points in 46 games last season and has 21 goals and 54 points in 123 career games with Montreal, the Nashville Predators, and Minnesota Wild. He averaged 59 seconds on the power play (tied for 16th among Montreal forwards) and 24 on the penalty kill. Pitlick comes with a $1.1 cap hit and can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Rutta, 33, earned three goals, nine points, a +3 rating, 48.96% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 53.46% five-on-five expected-goals-for percentage, and 54.61% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage while averaging 17:07 per game (sixth among Pittsburgh blueliners), including 2:33 on the penalty-kill (second). In 294 career games with Pittsburgh, the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Chicago Blackhawks, Rutta has recorded 15 goals and 70 points.

Granlund, 31, recorded 10 goals and 41 points in 79 regular-season games with Pittsburgh and the Nashville Predators, but just one goal and five points in 21 games after getting dealt from the Music City. In 750 career regular-season games with Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Minnesota, Granlund has 145 goals and 484 points.

Petry, 35, tallied five goals, 31 points, a +2 rating, 51.84% five-on-five Corsi-for percentage, 53.94% five-on-five expected goals-for percentage, and 51.85% five-on-five scoring chances-for percentage while averaging 22:21 per game (second), including 2:20 on the power play (third) and 2:22 on the penalty kill (third). In 864 career regular-season games with Montreal, Pittsburgh, and the Edmonton Oilers, Petry has earned 92 goals and 353 points. Petry played in Montreal over eight seasons from 2014-22 before getting traded to Pittsburgh for defenseman Mike Matheson and a 2023 fourth-round pick in July 2022.

DeSmith, 31, went 15-16-4 with a .905 save percentage and 3.17 goals-against average in 2022-23 and has a 58-44-12 record, .912 save percentage, 2.81 goals-against average, and nine shutouts in 134 career NHL games, all with Pittsburgh.

Legare, 21, was taken with the 74th overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and earned eight goals and 19 points in 68 AHL games with Wilkes-Barrie Scranton last season.

Hoffman, 33, collected 14 goals and 34 points in 67 games in 2022-23 and has 218 goals and 464 points in 679 career regular-season games.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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3 Responses to Pittsburgh Acquires Erik Karlsson From San Jose, Lose Granlund, DeSmith, Rutta, Petry In Three-Way Trade With Montreal

  1. Prevent Defense says:

    Harrison thanks for the summary
    Pro Sport isn’t fun without an occasional “Blockbuster” trade
    Caps Opening Night versus Pittsburgh will be REALLY high-profile event

  2. redLitYogi says:

    wow, I’ve got to hand it to Dubas — he’s willing to take a big chance. Will it work? Things would have to fall perfectly into place for the Pens to be true contenders but they do now have two of the elite RHD in the league and they have Crosby. They sure will be entertaining if nothing else.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      Dubas has gone from the unluckiest organization to the luckiest. That being said, the Pens are still a very old team. Karlsson is 33 years old. While he had a great year last season, how long will he sustain it.

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