Karlsson finished third in the NHL with 43 goals, shattering his previous career high of nine, and now the restricted free agent wants to get paid.
The forward and his management are asking for $6.5 million, while the team is countering with a $3.5-million offer, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston who reported on the arbitration filings Thursday morning.
Playing on a dominant line with Jonathan Marchessault and Reilly Smith, Karlsson had 78 points in 82 regular-season games this past season despite only registering 50 points through his first 183 NHL contests. He added seven goals and eight assists in 20 playoff games as the Golden Knights finished their inaugural season just three victories shy of winning what would have been the most improbable Stanley Cup championship in NHL history.
The 25-year-old was among the most disciplined players in the league, too, taking just six minor penalties with his 12 penalty minutes being the fewest among the league’s top 40 scorers. That earned him the Lady Byng Trophy.
He was also the recipient of the Guldpucken, or “Golden Puck,” awarded annually to Sweden’s top hockey player.
Karlsson is coming off a bridge deal that paid him $1 million in each of the past two seasons, so he’s set to get a significant raise one way or another. His arbitration hearing is scheduled for Saturday and the two sides have until then to negotiate a new contract, otherwise an arbitrator will award Karlsson a specified salary.