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MacArthur, Senators agree to five-year extension

Forward Clarke MacArthur agreed to terms with the Ottawa Senators on a five-year, $23.25 million contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

The contract starts with the 2015-16 season, has an average annual value of $4.65 million, and keeps him with the Senators through the 2019-20 season.

"Obviously last year wasn't what we were looking for (failing to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs), but it's a young team and I still feel we're on the up-and-up," MacArthur told the Ottawa Sun on Wednesday. "For me, to get a deal of this length, it gives me a chance over the six years to try and help make this team a winning team. I'm looking forward to that."

MacArthur could have become an unrestricted free agent after the 2014-15 season.

"Obviously he played well, he's a real complement to our line with Kyle Turris last year and I think the big thing with him is he's such a character guy, he wanted to be in Ottawa," general manager Bryan Murray said. "We had worked on this for a little while but at the end of the day Clarke's desire to be here and our happiness with his performance was a big reason to give him the term we did."

In 79 games last season, MacArthur was second on the Senators with a career-best 24 goals and fourth with 55 points. He is expected to be part of Ottawa's top line this season, playing left wing alongside Turris at center and right wing Bobby Ryan.

"Just because I've got a five-year deal, that doesn't mean I need to change a whole lot," MacArthur told the Sun. "I kind of want to play the same game. I want to play good in both ends."

Chosen by the Buffalo Sabres in the third round (No. 74) of the 2003 NHL Draft, MacArthur has 117 goals and 268 points in 482 NHL games with the Sabres, Atlanta Thrashers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Senators.

"I think he's going to be a little better player but obviously we're quite happy with what he did," Murray said. "If he's in that 20-25 goal range on a somewhat consistent basis and a real complement to those young players he'll end up playing at some point with them. He and Kyle Turris seem to fit like a glove, but whoever plays on the right side will really benefit from playing with Clarke and Kyle. To me it really solidifies a good pair that will make our team be a consistent contender."

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