Erik Karlsson is in the middle of his hottest stretch with the Sharks, and the team reportedly is keen to start discussing how to keep the defenseman in the Bay Area for a long time.
Sharks general manager Doug Wilson and Karlsson's agent are expected to begin contract extension talks after the NHL All-Star Game, Pierre LeBrun reported Tuesday on TSN's "Insider Trading."
"The two sides have kind of let things stand after the trade in September," LeBrun said. "They wanted him to get used to his new surroundings. My understanding is Don Meehan and Doug Wilson have chatted a bit this week to set up something for after the All-Star break. The two sides would reconvene after [the All-Star game on Jan. 26]."
Karlsson is in the final year of a seven-year, $45.5 million deal that he signed with the Ottawa Senators ahead of the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. The 28-year-old can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, and would be the best defenseman available on the market.
He is eligible to sign an eight-year contract extension with San Jose after the trade deadline on Feb. 25, and he can only sign an eight-year extension with the Sharks. When San Jose first acquired Karlsson in a blockbuster trade in September, Wilson said the team made the deal in order to try to extend the two-time Norris Trophy winner.