aPRIL 11, 2018 | 3:20PM ET
SENS MAY NOT OFFER KARLSSON MEGA CONTRACT
Erik Karlsson, defenceman
If Senators captain Erik Karlsson is hoping to secure a monster contract extension with Ottawa, he’s probably going to be disappointed.
Speaking to season ticket holders on Tuesday, Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said the team might not be able to offer the same deal other teams can on the open market.
Karlsson, 27, has one-year left on his contract, which comes with a $6.5 million salary cap hit.
“You can only go as far as you can go, and we’re going to go as far as we can,” Melnyk said, as quoted by the Ottawa Sun, whose reporters attended the town hall meeting with 300 season ticket holders at the Canadian Tire Centre.
Dorion plans on presenting Karlsson with an eight-year contract offer on July 1, and told everyone the “ball will be in Karlsson’s court.”
However, it’s unclear if the Senators and Karlsson will discuss an extension leading up to July 1, upon which Karlsson would be allowed to formally sign an extension. If the two sides speak beforehand, and the sense that comes out of those talks is a new deal isn’t in the cards, the Senators could entertain offers for him – though Dorion also indicated he will not trade Karlsson at the NHL Draft.
Karlsson could command well north of $10 million on a new contract, and will likely see his annual salary come in around $12 million. If those numbers hold true, the belief is the Senators will not be able to meet his demands.
Melnyk hinted the Senators would continue to retool/rebuild this off-season and said the team won’t be competing for the Stanley Cup next season. He added that he expected the team to be a Cup contender in “three to five years,” which will weigh into Karlsson’s decision.
Karlsson owns a 10-team no-trade list and will have some say in where he ends up.
The Senators reportedly came extremely close to trading Karlsson and right wing Bobby Ryan to the Vegas Golden Knights prior to the Feb. 26 trade deadline, but the deal fell through in the final hour.