Erik Karlsson's Struggles Continue in Pittsburgh as He Receives Major Demotion

Published December 3, 2023 at 2:28 PM

Erik Karlsson's slow season is starting to turn into a struggle, as he received a major demotion at practice today.

Karlsson Receives Demotion off Top Powerplay Amid Early Season Struggles

Kyle Dubas' first big move as General Manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins was to bring in Erik Karlsson in a blockbuster three-way trade. The move was intended to continue to build up the roster for one final cup run with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Now, however, that move doesn't look like it is playing out as he'd hoped. Karlsson was demoted off the first powerplay unit today during practice.

FWIW, Kris Letang worked with top PP unit at practice Sunday.

Read why that might be good for ⁦@penguins⁩ in this story from ⁦

The Penguin's power play is stale right now, and they hope that this switch will bring some life back to the struggling unit.

Karlsson Still Producing Amidst Recent Struggles

Much like Toronto's Mitch Marner, Erik Karlsson's struggles don't look the same on paper as other defensemen. Karlsson has put up 19 points in 23 games with the Penguins, with a pretty impressive rating of plus 10.

In my opinion, putting Kris Letang back on the top power play is the right call but leaving Erik Karlsson there will only exacerbate the issue of poor chemistry among the star players. More cooks isn't the solution to too many cooks in the kitchen.

However, Karlsson's struggles on the Powerplay don't show up on paper, especially considering he is the leader of the powerplay that has been lagging. Hopefully, for the Penguins, Karlsson will return to the form he took last season when he won the Norris Trophy.

As seen on Blade of Steel - "Erik Karlsson receiving major demotion in Pittsburgh"
December 3   |   19 answers
Erik Karlsson's Struggles Continue in Pittsburgh as He Receives Major Demotion

Do you think that Karlsson should stay on the first Powerplay?

Yes1473.7 %
no526.3 %
Latest 10 stories