The Ottawa Senators and restricted free-agent defenseman Jared Cowen have made marginal progress in contract negotiations, according to manager Bryan Murray as reported by Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
The two sides are both negotiating off the framework of a four-year deal, but still remain at odds over the financial compensation over that span. Garrioch cites a source who says the Senators are proposing $11.2 million over four-years, while Cowen's representatives are looking for $12.2 million.
According to Murray, the Senators are nearing their internal limit in what they're willing to offer, via the Ottawa Sun:
"Our last offer was highly competitive. We think it's really fair. We're not prepared to come off of that number," said Murray. "I guess they have to decide what's best for his career. Is that sitting at home? Is that coming back to us?
"I don't know. I really don't know what (Valette's) thinking is on this. He had a number to start and he's stayed on that number through July and August. He's come off that a bit, but not enough."
Garrioch previously reported that Cowen was asking for $3.5 million per season over three-to-five years. The Senators were reportedly willing to pay that annual salary, albeit over the span of an eight-year, maximum term contract. The club was reportedly looking to stay under $2.8 million on a shorter-term contract. Based upon this most recent report, Cowen is still asking for over $3 million per season.