The Chicago Blackhawks have signed defenseman Niklas Carlsson to a four-year extension through 2023, league sources told ESPNChicago.com.
The deal will pay Carlsson $28 million over the next four seasons, with a team option for a fifth year worth $26.5 million.
The contract, which will take effect at the start of the 2019-20 season, was negotiated with Carlsson by former Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman and his son, Jason, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The contract also includes a team-high $3.5-million signing bonus.
The Blackhawks, who have one of the league’s top defenses, lost Carlsson in the 2015 NHL trade deadline, but he signed a three-year deal with the Nashville Predators in the offseason.
In that deal, he was expected to be a key player on Nashville’s blue line.
In the 2015-16 season, Carlsson finished with seven goals and 31 points in 54 games.
He was second among NHL defensemen in scoring, third in penalty minutes, fifth in plus/minus and sixth in power-play points.
In 2016-17, Carlqvist was a consistent plus-minus performer, finishing with 53 points in 82 games, but was often left out of the lineup due to injuries.
The Blackhawks signed Carlsson for $4.5-$6 million per season in 2017-18, but were forced to part ways with him at the end of the season after he was suspended four games for an illegal hit on Predators forward Kevin Fiala.