Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson may or may not be celebrating a Norris Trophy victory on Wednesday night during the NHL Awards, but he'll be leaving Las Vegas with a new contract.
On Tuesday, the Senators announced a 7-year extension for the Karlsson. The 22-year old Swede was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1. According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the deal is worth $45.5 million with a $6.5 million annual cap hit.
From the Senators:
"We are extremely pleased to announce that Erik Karlsson's contract has been extended for seven more years," said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk. "Erik is the type of player and person that embodies an Ottawa Senator, and we are confident that on a personal basis, he will quickly become a role model for many of our young Sens fans and a great contributor to our community. We feel strongly that this long-term commitment will be great for both sides. As one of the cornerstones of our franchise, Erik will be a large part of the future success that Senators fans can look forward to."
The $6.5 million cap hit ties him with Dion Phaneuf of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Wade Redden of the Connecticut Whale for sixth highest among defenseman, according to Cap Geek.
Karlsson comes off a career season that saw him lead all defensemen in scoring with 78 points -- 25 more than Dustin Byfuglien and Brian Campbell -- to earn himself a Norris Trophy nomination. Would a win on Wednesday night earn him a few extra dollars? We'll never know, but now Karlsson will have 45.5 million reasons to find himself doubling down on a hand during his stay in Vegas.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy