For the third and final possbility, I wanted to talk about the Washington Capitals. A team that has proven it can achieve this season despite not having some of the older stalworts that have held that roster up for the better part of the last decade. Washington have found a way to keep winning and remain competitve at the tail-end of the career of one of the best goal scorers to ever bless this league.
However, recently the Capitals had to place Alex Ovechkin's right hand man, Niklas Backstrom, back on LTIR after he had hip surgery in the summer. At his age, there's a strong chance he will never be the player he was again. It means that this could very much be a team in the market for another forward when we get to the trade deadline, and they could use someone who can play center as well as playing the wing.
Washington has the cap space from the aforementioned stay of Backstrom on the long-term injured reserve. With more than $7 million in cap space if Backstrom doesn't come back, they would easily be able to take on the remainder of Granlund's contract without having to worry about the cap. It would make for a natural fit with no need to retain salary, so the Sharks will likely have more interest in making this work than having to retain or take money back in a deal with someone else.
From Washington, you could probably leverage the first round pick away from the Capitals for Granlund. Given that the Capitals have issues with other parts of their roster too, it could be a middle of the round pick. If that is the case, it's likely going to be more valuable than the first rounder from either Carolina or New York. It seems like a deal that could make sense for both sides. Am I wrong?