Erik Karlsson 'fully invested' in Sharks despite GM being open to offers

Jeff Bottari / National Hockey League / Getty

San Jose Sharks general manager Mike Grier may be open to hearing offers for Erik Karlsson, but the veteran defenseman said he's staying focused on the task at hand.

"I'm fully invested here at the moment. We are in a situation where we need to win a few games. I'm just worried about the next one," Karlsson told reporters Thursday, according to The Athletic's Corey Masisak. "That's all I can control. All that other stuff, it is nice for you guys to have something to talk about. I'll let you have at it."

Acquiring Karlsson's services would come at a hefty price for any interested party, as he's currently in the fourth season of an eight-year deal with an $11.5-million cap hit. However, the Swede is garnering plenty of hype by leading all defensemen with 10 goals and 24 points through his first 18 games of the campaign.

But the ball is mostly in Karlsson's court, with his pact carrying a full no-movement clause. The 32-year-old said he couldn't picture a scenario in which he'd waive it.

"If that question ever arises, you know, it's going to be between me and (Grier). It has not (come up)," Karlsson said. "So there's no point for me to think about that or speculate about that."

Grier said earlier this week that he knows his top blue-liner is "happy" in San Jose but that he's well aware teams may propose a trade for the "difference-maker." Karlsson said he recognizes the position the new Sharks executive is in.

"I'm just playing right now. I understand (Grier's) comments," he said, per NBC Sports' Sheng Peng. "He's got to keep an open mindset about everything."

Despite Karlsson's early bid for the Norris Trophy, the Sharks sit in sixth place in the Pacific Division with a 6-9-3 record.

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Erik Karlsson 'fully invested' in Sharks despite GM being open to offers
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