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William Karlsson Signs 8-Yr Extension With Golden Knights

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It was expected that William Karlsson would be sticking with the Vegas Golden Knights. On Monday night, that news became official as the team announced they’d signed Karlsson to an eight-year extension.

What’s interesting about the deal is that it comes in a bit lower a price tag than some may have expected.

Karlsson signed an 8-year deal worth $5.9 million AAV to remain a Golden Knight. Considering some of the lofty contracts being handed out just prior to July’s free agency and to an extremely deep crop of RFA’s, this seems like a steal for the former Stanley Cup Finalists. In reality, it’s a representation of what no state income tax can do to help convince a player to take a good deal.

As Jesse Granger of The Athletic points out, on a $5.9 million/yr deal the player will take home an estimated $3.75 million after taxes in Vegas. If he signed the same deal in other cities this is what he’d bring home: TOR/MTL: $2.77 million LA/ANA/SJ: $2.99 million NY: $3.02 million.

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The Details of the Karlsson Deal

As per the Golden Knights official website:

Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee announced today, June 24, that the team has signed forward William Karlsson to an eight-year contract through the 2026-27 season worth an average annual value of $5.9 million.

Karlsson, 26, finished his second season with the Golden Knights with 56 points (24 G, 32 A) to go with 16 penalty minutes. He finished with 13 multi-point games, including three games where he recorded three points.

William Karlsson #71, Vegas Golden Knights
William Karlsson #71, Vegas Golden Knights, October 13, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

With five seasons now under his belt in the NHL, Karlsson had his breakout season when he exploded on offense during the Golden Knights’ inaugural season. It was a season that saw the team make it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in a history-making expansion story that will likely never be duplicated.

That said, his 78 points weren’t enough to confidently say to the organization he was a long-term certainty. A one-year show-me deal resulted in a 56-point campaign this past season. Another strong offensive season allowed Vegas to feel like they were ready to go all-in.

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What Now for Vegas?

The Golden Knights aren’t close to done making moves. CapFriendly estimates that the signing puts the Knights $1.5 million over the off-season salary cap with several restricted free agents still in need of contracts.

Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller (Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

A team that already has cap issues only two seasons into their existence, they need to make moves to clear space and help their cause to sign players moving forward.

There is plenty of buzz that the organization might look at trade options that include Nikita Gusev (RFA), Colin Miller ($3.875 million), Cody Eakin ($3.85 million), Erik Haula ($2.75 million), and Ryan Reaves ($2.775 million). That may be just scratching the surface of what new GM Kelly McCrimmon might do.

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Karlsson Adds Legit Offense

The Vegas Golden Knights are loaded on offense. With names like Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Paul Stastny, Jonathan Marchessault and now Karlsson under contract, they shouldn’t have an issue scoring goals.

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