The Ottawa Senators have given interested teams permission to talk contract extension with defenceman Erik Karlsson.

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said Sunday that the club offered Karlsson an extension as originally planned, but trade rumours continue to swirl around the two-time Norris Trophy winner. Karlsson is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next July 1 but is eligible to sign an extension now. 

Dorion was tight-lipped regarding details of the offered extension.

"We don't really want to talk about roster players, contract negotiations, trades, all these things, but I think we owe it to our fans and we made a promise at the town hall that we would make a contract offer to Erik Karlsson and we’ve done so,” said Dorion Sunday. “We're not going to talk any more about it, but we talked about it previously and that’s about all we're going to say on the subject."

One thing Dorion did make clear is that the Senators don't plan to rush things this summer.

"We start (the regular season) Oct. 4, we've got lots of time," he said. 

Karlsson's name has been the subject of trade rumours for months. He was close to heading to Vegas at the trade deadline according to TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, but the deal fell apart in the final stages. 

The 15th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, Karlsson has played nine seasons with the Senators. He had nine goals and 53 assists over 71 games last season in the nation’s capital.

The 27-year-old has one year left on a seven-year, $45.5 million contract he signed ahead of the 2012-13 season. He will count $6.5 million against the cap next season.