It looks as though Senators captian Daniel Alfredsson will finish his career in an Ottawa uniform.
The Senators announced Thursday afternoon that the club has signed Alfredsson to a four-year contract extension worth $21.6 million US.
Alfredsson, who has emerged the past few seasons as an excellent captain and leader, will make $7 million in the first year with base salary and signing bonuses but will receive an additional $2.1 million bonus for getting out of the options on his existing deal. Alfredsson will then earn $7 million in the second year, $4.5 million in the third season and $1 million during the final year.
Team owner Eugene Melnyk called Alfredsson "one of the best all-round players in the NHL" and "an integral part of the Senators organization."
"Our ability to reach a new contract so early in the season speaks to the high level of commitment and respect that exists between Daniel and our hockey club. With today's signing, I deliver on a promise to our fans and to Daniel that I would make him a Senator for life," Melnyk said.
Senators general manager Bryan Murray echoed Melnyk's sentiments.
"Daniel is the type of person and player that we want to continue building this franchise around," said Murray. "We are happy to have him here to lead our team towards the goal of bringing a Stanley Cup to Ottawa."
Alfredsson, 35, has spent his entire 13-year career with the Senators, and is the club's all-time leader in games played (861), goals (334), assists (522) and points (856).
He also leads the Senators in most playoff categories, including games played (101), goals (43), assists (37) and points (80).
Selected in the sixth round (133rd overall) of the 1994 NHL draft, Alfredsson won the Calder Trophy as the league's rookie of the year in 1996 and is a five-time all-star.
"The Senators organization and the city of Ottawa have embraced both me and my family as part of this community," said Alfredsson, who was named team captain on Oct. 2, 1999. "It's an exciting time for our family to know that we'll be able to spend the rest of my NHL career in Ottawa."
Thursday's announcement means most of the Ottawa's key players are now locked up long-term.
Forwards Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley and Mike Fisher signed lengthy contracts last year while top defenceman Chris Phillips is tied to the club until the end of the 2010-11 season.
The Senators are in Florida to play the Panthers on Thursday evening.