Las Vegas Sun

March 18, 2019

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Sources: Golden Knights’ William Karlsson files for salary arbitration


John Locher / AP

Golden Knights center William Karlsson speaks during an NHL hockey media day for the Stanley Cup Final, Sunday, May 27, 2018, in Las Vegas.

Golden Knights forward William Karlsson has filed for salary arbitration, sources tell the Las Vegas Sun.

Karlsson led the Golden Knights with 43 goals in the regular season and is an unrestricted free agent. He and the Golden Knights will now meet with a third-party arbiter to decide what his salary will be for the 2018-19 season.

The deadline for Karlsson to file for arbitration was today, so the move wasn’t unexpected. Fellow restricted free agents Colin Miller and Tomas Nosek also filed for arbitration today.

NHL arbitration is used to settle contract disputes.

A date will be set by early August for the hearing, where Karlsson and the team will submit what they believe his salary should be. They will argue their cases, and the arbiter will set the salary.

The Golden Knights and Karlsson, with his agent, can continue negotiating up until the date of the hearing in hopes of agreeing to a contract and avoiding the arbitration process. This is how most cases are settled.

Last offseason, 30 players filed for arbitration, including Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt, who was awarded a two-year, $4.45 million contract by the arbiter. He was the only player to make it to the hearing without a deal worked out prior.

If Karlsson's case does reach arbitration, he would receive either a one- or two-year deal.

Karlsson was set to make $1 million this season on the last year of a two-year deal he signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets on June 23, 2016.

He will undoubtedly get a substantial raise after finishing third in the NHL in points this season and helping the Golden Knights reach the Stanley Cup Final.

Karlsson centered the most productive line in the NHL alongside Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith, registering 43 goals and 35 assists for a team-high 78 points. He won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy awarded to the player exhibiting the best sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with high-level play.

Karlsson also finished sixth in voting for the Selke Trophy — awarded to the best defensive forward in the league — and 10th in voting for the Hart Trophy for the league MVP.

While arbitration sometimes has a negative connotation because it pits the player against his employer, Karlsson has stated he wants to remain in Las Vegas long-term.

“I love being here in Vegas,” he said. “It’s a great city, and hopefully I can be here for many more years.”

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