What Does the Erik Karlsson Trade Mean for the Penguins?


Aug 7, 2023

Hockey fans have been holding their breath for nearly two months, awaiting the transfer of talented NHL defenseman Erik Karlsson, and the wait is finally over. Many teams were in the running to secure the veteran player, but the desired destination for many was the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Karlsson is an exceptional player. In his previous stint with the San Jose Sharks, he displayed an impressive level of endurance and toughness, playing in every single game last year. His reliability and consistent performances are what make him such an asset. With his aging career, it might be challenging to maintain that record, but when Karlsson is on the ice, his skills are unmistakable.

In his new home with the Penguins, fans and analysts alike are excited about the possibilities. Given Karlsson’s skills, he could be a game-changer, enhancing the team’s blue line and power play effectiveness. Having won the Norris Trophy, his addition is expected to fortify the Penguins’ blueline greatly.

However, the trade news was not just about welcoming Karlsson. A significant part of this deal involved saying goodbye to a player who, according to some fans, was underperforming – Casey DeSmith. DeSmith was traded to Montreal in the deal, marking the end of his tenure with the Penguins. His performance has drawn comparisons to the Suez Canal, with pucks allegedly finding their way through his legs as easily as ships through the famous waterway.

While the Penguins’ management also decided to retain Tristan Jarry with a long-term deal, this decision has not been universally popular among fans. Some believe the Penguins should look toward the young, talented goalies they’ve drafted instead.

The trade has polarized fans, with some happy to see DeSmith depart, citing his inability to make straightforward saves as a critical issue. However, this is the nature of sports – not every move will be popular with every fan. As for DeSmith, he will now have to prove himself with the Montreal Canadiens.

Meanwhile, Karlsson’s move to Pittsburgh brings the promise of a new chapter. If the defenseman can replicate his performance from San Jose, the Penguins might just have pulled off a fantastic deal. Only time will tell if these changes will bring the desired success.

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Thumbnail photo via Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

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