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Karlsson won't take hometown discount to stay with Senators

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Erik Karlsson is preparing for payday.

The Ottawa Senators captain and superstar defenseman, who can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019, is making no bones about what sort of dollars he'll need to sign on the bottom line.

"When I go to market, I'm going to get what I'm worth, and it's going to be no less, no matter where I'm going," Karlsson told Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun.

"That's the business part of it ... I think it's time to realize that when we go to the table, it's business on both parts, not just (owners)."

Karlsson's comments come just two days after Los Angeles Kings blue-liner Drew Doughty made it known he'll use P.K. Subban's salary as the benchmark when he's up for a contract renewal in the same offseason as Karlsson.

Doughty also indicated he'd contact Karlsson prior to free agency to share ideas on their next contracts.

As it stands, Subban's salary cap hit is $9 million, while Doughty's comes in at $7 million, and Karlsson a shade less at $6.5 million, per CapFriendly.

The Senators' top draft pick in 2008, Karlsson has won two Norris Trophies in Ottawa and has been the NHL's top defensive scorer in three of the past four seasons. He finished the 2016-17 campaign with 71 points in 77 games.

But whether he's long for Ottawa remains to be seen.

"I like it here, I'm comfortable here, I've been here my whole career," Karlsson added. "It's something that I invested all my time in and something I would like to see all the way through.

"But at the end of the day, when it comes down to it, if it's not the right fit and it's not going to work out business-wise, then you're going to have to look elsewhere because that's what (owners) are going to do, as well."

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