June 1, 2019 | 8:45pm ET
CANUCKS COULD ENTER KARLSSON SWEEPSTAKES
Erik Karlsson, defenceman
The Vancouver Canucks are among the teams weighing the possibility of pursuing star defenceman Erik Karlsson once the free agent doors swing open.
Teams are allowed to speak with pending unrestricted free agents starting June 24 and should Karlsson not re-sign with the San Jose Sharks by that point, teams will be knocking on his door and the Canucks are believed to be one of the clubs with interest in him.
Karlsson, 29, can become a UFA July 1 if he doesn’t sign with the Sharks and the belief, according to TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta, is that he will hit the talking period and explore his options.
The Canucks, Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights are among the clubs expected to pursue Karlsson if the opportunity presents itself.
Vancouver has roughly $30.5 million in available salary cap space, though a chunk of that will be assigned to star winger Brock Boeser once he signs a new deal with the team.
In 53 games with the Sharks this season, Karlsson registered three goals and 42 assists for 45 points.