Karlsson agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million contract extension with the Golden Knights on Saturday, the Las Vegas-Review Journal reports. The two sides reportedly were scheduled for an arbitration hearing Saturday morning in Toronto. Basically, this buys more time for a long-term deal to be made for the man who led the Golden Knights in points (78), with his total comprised of 43 goals and 35 assists over 82 games of an incredible inaugural showing for the Vegas franchise.
Karlsson and the Golden Knights are $3 million apart in their contract negotiations, which appears to have the sides headed toward Saturday's arbitration hearing, Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports. Karlsson's ask ($6.5 million) is relatively reasonable in light of his 78-point 2017-18 campaign; however, the team is no doubt looking at his two prior years in which he logged a combined 45 points. With just over $13 million in cap space, Vegas isn't exactly strapped for cash, but likely wants to see more consistently high numbers out of the 24-year-old before shelling out on a long-term deal.
Karlsson filed for salary arbitration Thursday. Karlsson exploded in 2017-18, leading Vegas with 43 goals and 78 points while posting an impressive plus-49 rating in 82 contests, so he's definitely expecting a big pay day. The Golden Knights can still sign the 25-year-old forward to a long-term deal before his arbitration hearing, and it would hardly be surprising if that ends up being the end result.
Karlsson was handed a qualifying offer by the Golden Knights on Monday, David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review Journal reports. This was perhaps the least surprising move of the day, as there was little chance Vegas would let the 43-goal scorer walk in free agency on July 1. The two sides will likely try to work out a long-term deal, but if not, the Swede would be under contract for $1 million for the upcoming 2018-19 campaign.
Karlsson ended the season with a three-game pointless skid, and he only averaged one shot per game over that span. "Wild Bill" didn't look close to 100-percent healthy while facing the Stanley Cup-winning Capitals in the final three games, but then again, we aren't aware of any reports detailing a specific injury to one of Vegas' biggest stars. Pried away from the Blue Jackets in the expansion draft, Karlsson catapulted his regular-season scoring output from 25 points in 2016-17 to an absurd 78-point value this year, and even though he sputtered against the Caps with the Stanley Cup on the line, the Swede still finished with seven goals and eight helpers over 20 playoff contests. It will take a herculean effort and a whole lot of puck luck for Karlsson to replicate his pre-playoff 23.4 shooting percentage next campaign, but the pending restricted free agent figures to be a perennial top-six, power-play contributor in the likely event that he stays in Vegas.
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Last 7 Games
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