It is crazy to think, but this year’s wilder-than-usual NHL trade season had the potential to be even wilder based on discussions we know were happening around players who didn’t end up moving.

Those discussions now become the seeds for what’s to come this summer, especially around the draft in Nashville, when the draft order is set for picks that could be involved in the deals.

Let’s take a look at players who could potentially be on the move this summer, based on what we know and heard about their situations from the deadline:


Erik Karlsson, Sharks

By the end of this season, Karlsson will be exactly halfway through his eight-year, $92 million contract with the Sharks. Oh, and he might have another Norris Trophy under his belt.

Those four years left on the contract at an $11.5 million cap hit are a massive hurdle in getting any trade done. But not impossible. San Jose got calls from a couple of teams this season on Karlsson, one of them emerging publicly as Edmonton. The Oilers had more than a little interest, but it sounds like the Sharks’ unwillingness to retain enough of Karlsson’s remaining contract essentially stopped both teams from taking the conversations to the next level.

The rebuilding/re-tooling Sharks will listen again on Karlsson this offseason, no question about it. Because he has a full no-move clause, a key figure in what transpires this summer will be his rep, Craig Oster of Newport Sports, one of the NHL’s top powerbroker agents. Oster was central in getting his client Matthew Tkachuk signed and traded from Calgary to Florida last summer.

His mission this offseason will be to expand the market for Karlsson, find him a place where he thinks he has a chance to win and where his family will be happy. But again the biggest question will be: How much can the Sharks eat on those final four years to make a trade happen?


J.T. Miller, Canucks

I don’t blame Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin for trying to minimize the extent of Miller trade talks after the deadline. There’s no currency in publicly discussing trade talks involving a player who signed a seven-year, $56 million extension last summer that hasn’t even kicked in yet.