Erik Karlsson made it crystal clear that he will be paid top dollar in the summer of 2019, whether that’s by the Ottawa Senators or one of the NHL’s other 30 clubs.

“When I go to market, I’m going to get what I’m worth, and it’s going to be no less, no matter where I’m going,” Karlsson told the Ottawa Sun Thursday in Brooklyn.

Questions about the two-time Norris Trophy winner’s unrestricted free agency, which looms in the summer of 2019, were spurred by an interview fellow star defenceman Drew Doughty gave to The Athletic‘s Craig Custance earlier this week.

Both decorated D-men are represented by Newport Sports Management. Both should eclipse P.K. Subban’s league-high cap hit of $9 million at the position, regardless where they sign in 19 months.

“I know I’m going to talk to Karlsson back and forth, kind of see what money he’s looking for,” Doughty told Custance. “I’ll kind of look at what money I’m looking for. I don’t know if he’s going to re-sign with Ottawa. I don’t know if I’ll re-sign with L.A. You just never know what’s going to happen.”

Karlsson’s assertion that he won’t be taking a hometown discount to remain with the club he led to the 2017 Eastern Conference final comes at a nervous time for Senators fans.