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Ottawa signs Karlsson to seven-year, $45.5 million deal

Jun 19, 2012, 6:27 PM EDT

Erik Karlsson Getty Images

On Wednesday night, Erik Karlsson will commemorate his breakout campaign by appearing at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas as one of the three Norris Trophy nominees.

But tonight? Tonight he’s going to celebrate.

That’s because the 22-year-old defenseman has signed a massive seven-year, $45.5 million deal with the Ottawa Senators. The contract will keep Karlsson in the Canadian capital until 2019, matching the longest contract in franchise history (Jason Spezza signed a seven-year deal back in 2007.)

The average annual value of $6.5 million is a huge raise for Karlsson, who was earning $1.3 million annually on his last contract (which, to be fair, was his entry-level deal.)

While steep, it’s a price the Senators had to pay to retain the services of last year’s most outstanding offensive defenseman. Karlsson scored 78 points in 81 games, finishing 25 clear of the next leading defenseman scorers (Brian Campbell and Dustin Byfuglien each had 53.)

His 59 assists tied him for third with Evgeni Malkin overall — only Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin and Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux had more.

In terms of cap hit, Karlsson’s $6.5 million puts him in rarefied air among blueliners. Only Campbell ($7.14 million), Drew Doughty ($7.0), Zdeno Chara ($6.9) Jay Bouwmeester ($6.7) and Dan Boyle ($6.6) are more expensive. Dion Phaneuf‘s annual cap hit is also $6.5 million.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 19, 2012 at 6:42 PM

    Not to worry, the Sens will be relegated to irrelevance next season. There’s no way they repeat that fluke of a season they had last year.

  2. dougr42 - Jun 19, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    what does this mean Suter is worth? holy crap.

    • biasedhomer - Jun 19, 2012 at 8:09 PM

      Karlsson is better than Suter

    • lordfletcher - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:34 AM

      Suter is still in the 6.5-8 range…

      6.5 if he wants to play in Detroit and for a lower salary than what a team like (whomever would over pay for)

      I think Suter signs for an avg hit of $7.25

      • biasedhomer - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:55 AM

        Why only 6.5 in Detroit. Everyone (including Suter and his agent) knows Detroit has plenty of cap space. There is no way Detroit can justify giving Suter below what every other team is offering him.

  3. scotloucks - Jun 19, 2012 at 7:41 PM

    An RFA? Absolutely nuts.

    But nuts is pretty much what Murray has been known for.

    Nuts.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jun 19, 2012 at 7:55 PM

      He needed to go nuts to lock this guy up. What else do the Sens have going for them? Spez, Neil, and Gonchar have their best years behind them. Alfie is likely gone. Carkner’s only skill is jumping guys. Karlsson’s really all they’ve got.

  4. broadstbully33 - Jun 19, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    karlsson is offensively better than sutter suter is far better defensively. and to be honest i dont think karlsson will ever touch those numbers ever again

  5. polegojim - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    Good kid- and he’ll earn it!

    “~Last year’s most outstanding offensive defenseman. Karlsson scored 78 points in 81 games, finishing 25 clear of the next leading defenseman scorers
    ~His 59 assists tied him for third with Evgeni Malkin overall
    ~Karlsson’s $6.5 million puts him in rarefied air among blueliners. Only Campbell ($7.14 million), Drew Doughty ($7.0), Zdeno Chara ($6.9) Jay Bouwmeester ($6.7) and Dan Boyle ($6.6) are more expensive. Dion Phaneuf‘s annual cap hit is also $6.5 million.”

    Note to the AVS front office: This is how you pay BLUEliners… not 3rd. As far as return on investment as measured in production, Jones was overpaid at 2.5mil

  6. redscarfunion - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    For all you dumb Americans on here this kid is the best defenseman by a land slide, you would know this of you bothered actually watching a game. If he doesn’t win the Norris it will be because they want chara to win his last one before he start declining! Ether way karlsson has at least 7 or 8 more in the future! As well as the sens have unreal prospect that he will be a leader to. Great signing made Burke look stupid haha phaneuf 6.5 har har har

    • theawesomersfranchise - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Im Canadian and you are a stupid fool.

      Your “best Defenseman by as landslide” is NOT EVEN TRUSTED TO BE ON THE ICE IN THE FINAL MINUTE OF A GAME WHERE THE SENS HAVE A ONE GOAL LEAD.

      Your “best Defenseman by a landslide” is like Paul Coffey without the puck, he wins NO battles on the boards.

      Your “best Defenseman by a landslide” has coughed up the puck making moves and/or trying passes up the middle of the ice more than ANY Dman I have seen this year.

      You are a STUPID lil boy who is in HOMER HEAVEN wearing rose colored glasses, who just got DESTROYED by a fellow Canadian.

    • lsxphotog - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      I’m an American. While powerplay defenseman are certainly a commodity, scoring prowess is only half their job. In my opinion a D-man should retain a balance of scoring ability, hockey sense (inc. play making), physical play, and defensive structure. Karlsson is far too young to accept the “best defenseman by a landslide” title. He easily could be soon, but he has a lot to learn to be recognized for that. The accolades he’s worthy of now are all relevant to his age and scoring power. But if I had to send a player to contest someone on an icing or against the boards, I probably wouldn’t put him there because he’s not using his body effectively – I attribute this to his slightly diminutive frame and lack of NHL experience. It will come in time, I’m sure.

      You should probably watch hockey outside of Canada and begin to appreciate the tremendous talents that are out there – not just your local heroes.

  7. redscarfunion - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Hahahahahhaha not do tough now eh boys? Don’t speak unless you know what your talking about :)

  8. redscarfunion - Jun 21, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    *so

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