Charting the value of Erik Karlsson

BOSTON – As general manager Bryan Murray begins negotiations to get Erik Karlsson’s name on a new contract, the market for top-flight defencemen got a little clearer with the signing of Carolina defenceman Tim Gleason to a four-year, $16 million deal.
This comes on the heels of the five-year, $20-million deal Karlsson’s good buddy, Tampa Bay defenceman Victor Hedman, signed in November.
So with $4 million the apparent starting point, that would seem to indicate that Murray is looking at about $5 million a year, since it’s generally agreed that Karlsson is a more valuable commodity than either Hedman or Gleason.
Going into Tuesday’s games, Karlsson, in just his third year, was the leading scorer among defencemen by a wide margin, 15th overall in total scoring (47 points), and second in assists (40).
He also might get some votes for the Norris Trophy, if voters don’t ask a lot of uncomfortable questions about his defensive abilities. He’s getting better there but he’s not going to win a Nicklas Lidstrom impersonation contest.
As for Gleason, avid Ottawa fans will remember he was originally drafted by Ottawa, 23rd overall, in 2001.
When the Senators couldn’t reach an agreement with him on an entry-level deal, then-general manager John Muckler traded Gleason to the Los Angeles Kings for Bryan Smolinski in March, 2003.
Gleason was subsequently traded to Carolina.

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