Karlsson agrees to 7-year extension with Senators.

Various sources report the Ottawa Senators have re-signed defenseman Erik Karlsson to a seven-year contract extension. Details to follow…

**UPDATE** The deal, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, is worth an average cap hit of $6.5 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet how the salary is structured, though it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s heavily front-loaded to ensure a more “cap-friendly” contract. While the Senators might catch some flak for not waiting until the new CBA to re-sign Karlsson, they evidently wanted to get a deal done as quickly as possible.

Can’t say I blame them, what with Karlsson up for the Norris trophy as this season’s top NHL defenseman. Don’t want that asking price to go up any higher. Besides, it probably wouldn’t be good business to let the situation drag on for months awaiting a new CBA. If front-loaded deals are banned under the new CBA, best to get one done now, as existing contracts must be honored, even if they’re front-loaded.

Not surprised by the amount Karlsson got, coming in a little less than LA Kings d-man Drew Doughty’s $7 million per season. I doubt there’ll be many Senators fans upset with this signing, but the pressure’s on Karlsson now to earn that contract.