Despite the threat of an offer sheet, the Vegas Golden Knights aren't rushing to negotiation and finalize a deal with dynamic forward William Karlsson.
While speculation is that offer sheets will be the focus of much discussion this summer in the NHL, it doesn't seem the Golden Knights are paying much attention to the noise. With names like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and the Knights' Karlsson reaching restricted free agent status, the team is choosing not to talk contract at this point in the year, instead running the risk that Karlsson will be a target for other teams.
During an appearance on Fox Sports Las Vegas (audio link), GM George McPhee indicated that there is no push to get a deal done. Citing that both the Golden Knights and Karlsson’s camp came into the 2018-19 season looking to determine what kind of player Karlsson really is. Is he the center that scored 78 points last season? Or, is he the center who is on pace for 52 points this season? Because Vegas wasn't sure, the team signed Karlsson to only a one-year, $5.25 million deal last summer.
What This Means
The question becomes, is this really a risk by the organization? With some big-ticket players at the same position Karlsson is, Vegas knows they'd like to keep their star in the fold. At the same time, their confident other players will attract the offer sheets if one is even submitted by an opposing GM.
McPhee and the Golden Knights are happy enough to let Karlsson finish out the season, see where he finishes in terms of production and make their decision from there. Should, for some reason, they lose him to an offer sheet, there are plenty of players the team can target to replace him. This is the year of restricted free agents in the NHL.