Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said Tuesday during a town hall meeting the club will offer defenceman Erik Karlsson an eight-year deal.

"At the end of the day, it will be his choice. If we offer him a fair contract and he doesn't want to sign here, then we will have to look at other options. The ball will be in his court,” Dorion said.

Dorion also revealed he had a 30-minute meeting with Karlsson Monday.

"We will offer Erik Karlsson a contract on July 1st. It's important our fans know that. We hope he'll remain a Senator for years to come,” owner Eugene Melnyk said.

"If it's a question of dollars, there are teams who can outgun us. The cap gives us a fighting chance. There's only so far you can go and we're going to go as far as we can."

Karlsson spoke to the media Monday and said while he understands there might be changes coming in Ottawa, he hopes he isn’t one of them.

Karlsson is set to enter the final season of a seven-year, $45.5 million deal next season that he signed ahead of the 2012-13 season and is eligible to begin negotiating an extension on Canada Day.

In 71 games during the regular season, Karlsson had nine goals and 53 assists.

After reaching the Eastern Conference Final last spring, the Senators struggled mightily in 2017-18, finishing at 28-43-11 for 67 points. Their points total was the second lowest in the NHL behind the Buffalo Sabres at 62.