(Photo by Getty Images)
Reno–With the Vegas Golden Knights locking up their 2017-18 leading goal scorer in William Karlsson for at least another year we take a look at the signing and what it means.
When the Golden Knights issued out the qualifying offers to their RFA’s basically every single player did not like or agree to what George McPhee tendered so those offers needed to be reworked.
Three of those players were arbitration eligible and exercised their right with everything intention of going thru with it. Those players were Colin Miller, Tomas Nosek, and 43 goal scorer and top line center Karlsson.
Miller’s contract was the first to get ironed out as he avoided salary arbitration and he signed a new four your deal with the Golden Knights at $3.875 million per season and a contract total of $15.5 million over the term.
Next up was depth forward Nosek as he inked a one year contract with Vegas at $962,500 for the 2018-19 season thus terminating his arbitration hearing.
This led to a more complicated matter with Karlsson and how to deal with his incredible breakout season which for him was basically his coming out party in the NHL.
Originally before his scheduled hearing date that was set on August 4 in Toronto he had asked for $6.5 million from the Golden Knights and McPhee countered with a $3.5 million dollar offer.
For both sides this meant that they were not on the same page in terms of salary compensation and for good reason. What McPhee was trying to do was protect the bottom line for the franchise and for Karlsson he felt that based on his performance alone in the Golden Knights inaugural season warranted such a pay day increase.
Karlsson finished in the top three in scoring last season behind 7-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard winner Alexander Ovechkin from the Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets rising star in Patrik Laine.
He also became the first player in Golden Knights history to reach the 20, 30, and 40 goal plateau and along the way recorded two hat tricks, a regular and a natural (both of which were franchise firsts).
In addition to those aforementioned accomplishments, Karlsson finished in first place in the NHL last year with a 23.4 shooting percentage rating which put him over a four point margin on New York Islanders forward Andres Lee who completed the season off with a 19.2 shooting percentage.
Another thing that Karlsson did with the Golden Knights in year one was not only did he finish in first in plus/minus with +49 with the club but the NHL as well. He finished ahead of line mate Jonathan Marchessault who had a +36 rating.
At the 2018 NHL Awards show, Karlsson became the first Golden Knights player in franchise history to take home the Lady Byng Trophy as the player voted with the best combine sportsmanship, gentlemanly conduct and ability.
All these factors were definitely in Karlsson’s favor and McPhee knew that without question so on the day of his arbitration hearing both decided to avoid going thru with it all together and agreed to a one year contract at $5.25 million for the 2018-19 season.
What this one year deal means for Karlsson moving forward is McPhee wants to be sure if his leading goal scorer from the first season is the franchises point man in putting pucks in the back of the net on a more consistent basis before making the commitment in locking him up for the long term.
On Karlsson’s side of the story he wants to show McPhee that he can be the one in scoring goals for the franchise on a nightly basis.
The good news here is for Golden Knights, this keeps their top line of Marchessault-Karlsson-Reilly Smith intact for at least another season.
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VegasKOTR