If Erik Karlsson wants to ink a max deal with his new team, he'll have to wait a while.
The superstar defenseman cannot sign an eight-year contract extension with the San Jose Sharks until after the 2018-19 trade deadline on Feb 25, according to a CBA rule unearthed by The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun.
LeBrun cited page 285 of the NHL-NHLPA agreement, and specifically Rule 50.8, subsection (b) (iv), which states:
An SPC with a term of greater than seven (7) years, provided, however, that a club may sign a player to an SPC with a term of up to eight (8) years if that player was on such club's reserve list as of and since the most recent trade deadline. With respect to potential unrestricted free agents only, the ability to re-sign a player to an SPC of eight (8) years expires when the player becomes an unrestricted free agent. With respect to a player who becomes a Group 2 restricted free agent, a club may sign such player to an SPC with a term of up to eight (8) years provided such player was on such club's reserve list and/or restricted free agent list as of and since the most recent trade deadline.
In other words, if Karlsson - a pending unrestricted free agent - wants to sign a pact for seven years or fewer with San Jose, he can do so at any time, but if he wants the maximum eight years, he has to wait until the clock strikes 3 p.m. ET on Feb. 25.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly sent a memo on the subject to all 31 teams in July as a reminder, sources told LeBrun, who added that the Sharks were very much aware of the rule as they negotiated the recent trade that landed Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators.
After acquiring the all-world blue-liner last week, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said, "It's a long-term approach, and we think Erik fits for now and for a long time."
Wilson added in an interview with Curtis Pashelka of the San Jose Mercury News that he'd have no reservations about offering Karlsson an eight-year contract.