No rush for Karlsson deal
DON BRENNAN, QMI AGENCY
|Erik Karlsson will become a restricted free agent July 1 if the Senators don't sign the defenceman to a contract before that date. (Tony Caldwell/QMI AGENCY)
Any team toying with the idea of extending an offer sheet to Erik Karlsson is wasting its time.
While the Senators have started negotiations with the star defenceman’s agent, GM Bryan Murray says he’s not worried about getting a deal done before July 1 just to avoid the possibility that one of his rivals will make an outlandish offer to Karlsson should be become a restricted free agent.
“It’s not a pressure point for us,” Murray said Thursday about the July 1 date that sees RFAs become eligible to accept offer sheets. “I’m not saying something wouldn’t happen with another club, but I can’t imagine that they would think we wouldn’t match, no matter what. We’re going to negotiate on the basis we have time, we will get it done. It sounds like both parties want to get it done. It’s just a matter of getting the right number.”
Thirty-three players, by unofficial count, have signed offer sheets when they’ve become RFAs, dating back to 1986. Eighteen times, the team holding the player’s rights has matched during its seven-day window of opportunity.
The last time a team didn’t match was 2007, when the Anaheim Ducks let the Edmonton Oilers sign Dustin Penner to a five-year, $21.5 million deal. The Ducks were awarded Edmonton’s first-, second- and third-round picks in 2008 as compensation.
Compensation for Karlsson would be significantly more, depending on the average amount of the salary.
Meanwhile, if the Senators are forced to match an offer sheet, it could wind up doing some damage to their budget. At least now, they are able to negotiate.
“We’ve talked, and we’re going to talk further,” said Murray. “I believe that his people are going to be in Vegas (where Karlsson is nominated for the Norris Trophy) and I’m hoping that they’ll buy me a coffee and maybe we can sit down and talk one of the mornings, certainly before the awards ceremony (Wednesday). “We haven’t thrown numbers around, but we do know we want to get together.”
ON HOLD WITH ALFREDSSON: If the dilly-dallying of owners and players on a new CBA continues and the 2012-13 season starts late as a result, Daniel Alfredsson’s decision on whether to retire could be made for him. Same with fellow aging star Martin Brodeur, for that matter.
“I’m sure that if it should happen that we don’t play for part of the year, it might,” said Murray. “It might come into play with a number of veteran guys around the league, I would think. Although I don’t know anything going on there, I’m hoping that doesn’t have an effect on anything we do.”
In the meantime, Murray will continue to patiently wait to hear from Alfredsson.
“I have not talked to him, I have not asked him to give me a decision, it does not affect what we do (at the draft),” said Murray. “We know going forward, that if he’s here, he’ll really help our club next year. And if he’s not here, we’ve got to be prepared to go forward without him. Some day, that happens to all of us. We just hope (with him) it’s not this coming year.
“When I talked to him, I made it very clear to him that he’s the guy making the call, that I will not call him. I told him what I thought of his play, I mentioned that we had a couple of young Swedes coming that he might help a lot, but I did not give him any time limit. I said, ‘you go home and do what you have to do, think about it. Obviously, you’re going to have people bug you. I’m not going to be one of them, though.’ ”
ICE CHIPS: The Senators no longer have a decision to make on Nikita Filatov, who they loaned to CSKA Moscow last December and contemplated bringing back to camp in September. “He made the decision,” said Murray. “He signed in Russia.” The sixth overall pick in the 2008 draft, Filatov may have a difficult time finding an NHL team willing to take a risk on him if he ever wants to come back ... Murray says he has no intention of buying out any of the contracts on his team, ending speculation Bobby Butler might be on the way out. “There are some unrestricted free agents who, over the next days, I have to let know what’s going to happen with them,” said Murray, who has Filip Kuba, Matt Carkner, Zenon Konopka, Jesse Winchester, Alex Auld, Matt Gilroy and Rob Klinkhammer in need of contracts. (Kuba, Auld and Gilroy should know by now they won’t be back). “But there aren’t a lot of contracts I’m trying to dump, by any means. The people who have them have a chance to play on our hockey team. During the training-camp process, or after that, if some young player steps up and is really showing that he’s ready to play now, I have to try and look after that at the time.”