Skip to content

Ottawa owner: Karlsson’s contract demands must be “reasonable”

Apr 30, 2012, 12:39 PM EDT

Erik Karlsson Getty Images

Let the posturing begin.

That was the message out of Ottawa on Monday when Senators owner Eugene Melnyk addressed the media in his year-end conference call.

As the conversation turned to Erik Karlsson — Ottawa’s high-scoring, Norris-nominated defenseman — Melnyk made it clear he wasn’t going to break the bank for the impending RFA.

“From our perspective everyone has to be reasonable,” he said. “All we can offer is opportunity, and that is to be part of a great organization with a shot. If you want to be part of that, our doors are open.

“We can pay you, but it has to be within a reasonable budget.”

Ottawa’s idea of “reasonable” might differ from Karlsson’s. It’s fair to think that, coming off a 78-point campaign and a Norris nomination, the 21-year-old Swede could be looking for money comparable to Drew Doughty ($7 million annually) or Tyler Myers ($5.5 million). Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen figures Melnyk and GM Bryan Murray will need to “open the vault to re-sign Karlsson,” possibly to the tune of $6 million per season.

But is Ottawa willing to do that? The team operated at nearly $13 million under the cap this season and, in addition to Karlsson, has a number of free agents to deal with: RFAs Nick Foligno, Peter Regin, Jim O’Brien, Kaspars Daugavins and UFAs Jesse Winchester, Zenon Konopka, Filip Kuba, Matt Gilroy and Matt Carkner.

Melnyk told reporters the same thing Murray said in his exit interview — he’s not worried about negotiations and figures they’ll get a deal with Karlsson done.

Which begs the question: Does Karlsson think the same?

  1. somekat - Apr 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    If they don’t give him the 5.5 that Myers got, it is a joke

    “all we can offer is an oppurtunity, and a chance to be part of a great organization with a shot”

    I read that quote as an offer to trade him. A great organization with a shot? Can’t be talking about the Senators….unless it is a shot at last place

  2. tarotsujimoto74 - Apr 30, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    He should get at least 6M per, incredible offensive numbers and decent defense. He’s more comparable to Doughty.

  3. pone27 - Apr 30, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    Agree with tarotsujimoto, but remember, the kid is only 21 and is a Dman.

    Toews is getting just under 6.5 and is a way more valuable player at close to the same age. Doughty also plays in LA, a huge money team that has the cash to ensure a player is kept, regardless if over paid.

    I think Ottawa will lose him. IMO, Karlsson is a 5.5 a year player at best right now. He lacks big time defensively, which is always the main focus of a Dman. Myers IMO is a more complete Dman.

    • odj810 - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      myers you mean the healthy scratch for a handfull of games this year? ottawa may loose him eventually but not for a few years. Myers is overpaid.

  4. odj810 - Apr 30, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    what a lot of people don’t understand is that these RFA’s have NO leverage. Look at kyle turris. How’d that end up for him he eventually signed for alil more then 1 mil per. Offer sheets are out the window. To much to give up. That being said he defanetly is a world class player however I can see ottawa playing little bit of hardball and he’ll sign for 8m over 2 years. Then he will get his huge pay day with UFA on the line.

    • pone27 - Apr 30, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Agreed with this…

      If you look at the higher paid offensive dmen in the league (Doughty (7), Keith (5.5) Lidstrom (6.2), Green (5.25), I think its safe to say he is worth 5.5 at best in a few years from now, not at 21.

  5. rainyday56 - Apr 30, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Yeaaah. . . . He’ll be in a blue shirt in 4 years, New Haven in 6. (Wade Redden)

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1991)
  2. P. Kessel (1634)
  3. M. Richards (1406)
  4. N. Backstrom (1220)
  5. M. Giordano (1192)