The Las Vegas Golden Knights’ improbable run to the Stanley Cup finals in their first year of existence ended after five games with the Washington Capitals.
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The Golden Knights signed winger William Karlsson (cover photo) just before he was scheduled to go to an arbitration hearing. Though the contract is only for one year, Karlsson said he’s, “Happy it got done.” The contract includes a significant pay raise from his existing $1 million contract.
Expect Karlsson to continue to flourish in head coach Gerard Gallant’s offensive system. The Golden Nights get plenty of opportunities in Gallant’s high-pressure, disciplined system. This system allowed the young players to adjust to the speed of the NHL game at their own pace while also allowing the stars of the team to shine.
What to Expect
The fact that defenseman Nate Schmidt is suspended for the first 20 games of the season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs clearly hinders the Golden Knights. The suspension means the rest of the Golden Knights’ defensive corps needs to perform better than they did last season.
Though defense was thought to be a position of strength heading into the new season, the Knights are thin because of a looming holdout by Shea Theodore, who, along with Brayden McNabb, formed a pair that consistently stymied offenses last year. This is not an ideal situation. However, Gallant and his staff have a year’s experience with the team’s younger defensemen. Those younger players will have to step up.
Cover Photo Credit: Chase Stevens, Las Vegas Review-Journal Andrew Walsh covers the NHL's Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @walsha89.
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