The Ottawa Senators are allowing Erik Karlsson to speak with other teams regarding an extension. And the New York Islanders are linked. Good, cause they can offer him what he’s looking for.
The New York Islanders have generally been seen as the cheap team in the NHL. They rarely paid for players and they certainly never paid to bring in quality coaches. That was until Scott Malkin and John Ledecky bought the team.
The Ottawa Senators have happily taken the torch from the Islanders as the cheapskates in the NHL. To be fair, they’ve been one for years. But you’d think after the Daniel Alfredsson debacle some years ago they’d learn their lesson. Pay your star/franchise players.
And then a year away from unrestricted free agency, they low-balled Erik Karlsson.
According to The Athletic, the Ottawa Senators offered captain Erik Karlsson an eight-year $80 million dollar deal. That sure sounds like a lot of money, and it certainly is, but consider that Drew Doughty just signed off on an eight-year $88 million deal on July 1.
Why did the Ottawa Senators offer Erik Karlsson less than Drew Doughty? We all know that Erik Karlsson wants to be paid market value. Because that’s exactly what he said back in November. It’s like the Senators went out of their way to further alienate their star defenseman.
Erik Karlsson is better at his position than Doughty. It’s why Karlsson has won two Norris trophies and finished second in Norris voting another two times. To Doughty’s one Norris victory and another two top-two finishes.
I could entertain a debate that they are equal. So why did Ottawa want to pay him less? Whatever their thinking was, Erik Karlsson clearly wasn’t happy with the offer. Because as we posted yesterday, teams can now speak with Erik Karlsson on an extension.
The New York Islanders can offer to pay Karlsson what he’s worth. Sure, the Islanders might have a few kinks in their franchise. What with two home arenas for the next few years, their ex-GM is still hanging around, and their former superstar player is gone.
But the upside is incredible. A new state of the art arena in two years time. They have a Hall of Fame-worthy GM and a Stanley Cup-winning coach. They have owners that are actively trying to better the franchise. And they aren’t shy to use their pocketbooks.
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The Islanders were willing to give John Tavares $11.25 million a year. They can and should make the same offer to Erik Karlsson. This is after all the best player at his position. So why not pay him like he’s the best. He’s worth it.