Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Karlsson Laughs All The Way To The Bank With New 7 Year Deal

It's official, the offseason's #1 priority is done after the Senators announced that they have signed Norris finalist Erik Karlsson to a 7 year extension worth 45.5 million dollars, which is a 6.5 million per year cap hit. Karlsson, who just turned 22 and is getting married this summer, was the NHL's leading scorer from the backend and the breakthrough start in the league this year. He was an RFA heading into the offseason.

My take is that this seems to be one of those rare deals that seem completely fair for both sides. Karlsson was obviously due for a large raise and Bryan Murray wanted to get it done before July 1st so he could turn his attention to UFA's and avoid the potential of EK65 getting a ridiculous offer sheet from another club. |It was probably a smart move to lock him up before he has the chance to be the Norris winner as well, even though he's a long shot to win the price could have gone up with a win.

With the 7 year deal, Karlsson has committed his long term future to the Senators and the 6.5 cap hit seems about right for what he brings to the table. You'd have to imagine he'd command at least another million-million and a half per season on the open market. He becomes tied with former Sen Wade Redden and current Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf for the 6th highest paid blueliner in the league. With the deal the Sens lock up the most dynamic young defenceman in the game today. Well done by BM the GM.

Of course the day wouldn't be complete without owner Eugene Melnyk giving his 2 cents on the deal. Here's what he had to say: "We are extremely pleased to announce that Erik Karlsson's contract has been extended for seven more years," said Melnyk. "Erik is the type of player and person that embodies an Ottawa Senator, and we are confident that on a personal basis, he will quickly become a role model for many of our young Sens fans and a great contributor to our community. We feel strongly that this long-term commitment will be great for both sides. As one of the cornerstones of our franchise, Erik will be a large part of the future success that Senators fans can look forward to."

Thoughts on the deal? Was the term and money right or did we over/underpay?

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UPDATE: listen to Erik's interview with the Team1200 after signing here

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