Erik Karlsson had another lights out effort on Family Day and/or Presidents’ Day, putting up 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) and leading the Senators to a 6-0 win over the Islanders.
The win was Ottawa’s 3rd in a row and they strengthened their hold on 7th place in the East – now 6 points up on 8th place Toronto (with the Leafs admittedly having two games in hand).
But Karlsson’s the real story here. There are a number of ways to highlight his incredible offensive season, here’s a few… Karlsson;
- is 16th in NHL scoring with 58 points (12 goals, 46 assists);
- is 3rd in NHL assists behind only H. Sedin (51) and Giroux (46);
- leads all NHL defensemen by 17 POINTS; and
- is 2nd in goals amongst NHL defensemen, trailing Florida’s Jason Garrison by only 1 goal.
So things are going well for King Karlsson. Best of all (at least for him and his agent Don Meehan)? His contract’s up for renewal at the end of the season!
Here’s the problem… he’s 21 years old and has a 17 point lead on any and all comparables.
According to CapGeek.com here are the top 10 NHL cap hits for defensemen:
In the contact renewal negotiations both the yearly amount and the number of years will be important.
The length will be particularly important because if it’s a three year deal, or less, then Karlsson would still be a restricted free agent (RFA) upon expiry. However, if it’s a four year deal, or more, then upon expiry Karlsson would be an unrestricted free agent (UFA) and able to negotiate with all NHL teams.
Therefore, we can deduce that the Senators would be willing to pay a bit more to ink a shorter three year contract and maintain one more negotiation before Karlsson hits his UFA status. The other option is to ink the long bomb 7+ year contract which is acceptable provided you’re confident Karlsson’s motivation won’t suffer having secured more many than most people can dram of. If he’s more like Spezza than Heatley then the long term deal’s probably a worthwhile bet. That said, taking three years to iron out exactly where Karlsson sits amongst NHL defensemen year in, year out would be beneficial.
In any event Karlsson’s next contract will be north of 6.2 mil/year and he’ll be able to buy a lot more cars from Matt Spezza…