Karlsson talks will take time
The Senators could be in for a long, hot summer trying to sign defenceman Erik Karlsson.
Craig Oster, Karlsson’s agent, confirmed by e-mail late Monday there haven’t been any formal talks between the two sides and none are planned at this juncture.
No, this shouldn’t come as any surprise as the season ended less than two weeks ago. The club’s scouting staff is focused on the coming weekend when the group gathers in Ottawa to rate players for next month’s NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh.
But with Karlsson, 21, set to become a restricted free agent July 1, it’s in the best interests of the Senators to try to get a deal done quickly so GM Bryan Murray can get on with the rest of his summer.
However, some league executives and agents contacted by the Ottawa Sun in the last couple of days predict there’s not going to be anything fast about these talks unless the Senators immediately fork over $7 million per season.
“People in Ottawa should be prepared for this to take until training camp,” said one league executive requesting anonymity. “It could happen if both sides decide to dig in their heels on this one.
“The one thing you do know: It’s going to get done and Erik Karlsson isn’t going to go anywhere. Both sides will try to use their leverage. There will be pressure points but sooner or later he’s going to sign.”
Karlsson likely isn’t in any hurry, either. After a 78-point campaign (including 19 goals), he might be best to put off talks until he finds out next month in Las Vegas whether he’s won the Norris Trophy.