The Ottawa Senators had one of their busiest and most positive days in a long time as they locked up forward Bobby Ryan for seven more years and named their new captain, defenceman Erik Karlsson.
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Team owner Eugene Melnyk and General Manager Bryan Murray were on hand to make the pair of announcements on Thursday morning at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata.
Ryan signed a seven-year, $50.75-million extension that will keep him in Ottawa until the 2021-22 season. He will make an annual average of $7.25 million per season, which makes him the team’s highest paid player.
He joins linemate Clarke MacArthur who resigned with the team in August until the 2019-20 season.
Karlsson becomes Sens' 9th captain
Karlsson becomes the ninth captain in Senators’ team history at the young age of 24 years old, and is the team’s third captain in as many seasons. Karlsson is already signed until the 2018-19 season.
Past captains include Laurie Boschman, Mark Lamb, Brad Shaw, Gord Dineen, Randy Cunneyworth, Alexei Yashin, Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza. Alfredsson is the longest-serving captain after wearing the "C" for 13 seasons.
Veterans Chris Phillips and Chris Neil will also serve as alternate captains for the second year in a row.
Locking up their star winger is a change from recent times for Ottawa, after losing Alfredsson and Spezza in back-to-back off-seasons. It also cements the team's top trio of Ryan, MacArthur and Kyle Turris for years to come.