Ottawa Senators general manager Bryan Murray hopes to have more serious discussions toward a new contract for Erik Karlsson when he sees the defenceman’s agents during the NHL awards in Las Vegas next week.
Murray and Karlsson’s agents have already had preliminary talks on a new deal, which will likely ring in at around $7 million a year.
“I believe his people are going to be in Vegas, and I’m hoping that they’ll buy me a coffee and maybe we can sit down and talk one of the mornings before the awards ceremony,” said Murray.
“We haven’t thrown numbers around, but we do know we want to get together.”
Murray said there’s no pressure to sign Karlsson before July 1, after which teams would be able to submit an offer sheet to try to steal Karlsson away.
The league has to know that the Senators would match anything that is offered, he said.
Meanwhile, the team’s other high-profile Swede, captain Daniel Alfredsson, hasn’t given any indication whether he’ll retire or return for another season, and Murray said there’s no deadline.
“I have not talked to him, I have not asked him to give me a decision,” said Murray.
“It does not affect what we do. We know going forward that if he’s here he’ll really help us out next year.
“And if he’s not here, we’ve got to be prepared to go forward without him. Someday that happens to all of us.
“We just hope it’s not this coming year.”
Other than telling Alfredsson what he thought about his play last year and what he brought to the team, Murray said he won’t try to influence Alfredsson’s decision.
However, a wild card could be the negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
“I’m sure that if it should happen that we don’t play for part of the year, it might come into play, and for a number of veteran guys around the league, I would think,” said Murray.
“But I’m hoping that doesn’t have an affect on anything we do.”