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Golden Knights’ William Karlsson Out to Prove Last Season Wasn’t a Fluke

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Although the magical run that the Vegas Golden Knights had to the Stanley Cup Final was halted by the Washington Capitals, the team is looking to show that last season was no fluke, much like Vegas forward William Karlsson is.

The 25-year old Karlsson finished the 2017-2018 campaign third in the league with 43 goals and 35 assists, and although he and the Golden Knights couldn’t nail down a long-term contract, he did agree to a one-year, $5.25 million deal so he can return to build on his impressive season.

It’s me betting on myself a little,” Karlsson said, according to NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger. “It would be great with a long-term (deal) but we couldn’t agree on that. Both sides wanted it long term but it couldn’t work out.

“I believe I can have another productive year, show that last season was no fluke, and earn something long term.”

Karlsson blew up, unexpectedly after two lackluster season with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

“I’m not sure what happened in Columbus but when your confidence is down it affects you,” Karlsson said. “All I wanted is a chance to show what I can do. Vegas let me do that. It let a lot of guys do that.”

Another season like last year’s will lead to a big, long-term deal for Karlsson, and make it hard for the Golden Knights not to give him that kind of commitment.

Eastern Conference

Devils’ Jesper Bratt Out 2-3 Weeks

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New Jersey Devils forward Jesper Bratt will be out 2-3 weeks with a broken jaw.

Bratt, 20, was injured Thursday when he was hit in the face by a puck that was shot from the point and deflected off the crossbar.

“It was just a freak accident after practice; he was in the corner and there was a shot that went to the net and it hit the crossbar and inadvertently hit him,” Devils head coach John Hynes said (h/t NHL.com). “He has a fracture and no surgery is needed, so that’s good news. He should be able to continue his physical activity over the course of that time and he’ll be back ready to go when that time comes.”

“It stinks because he’s had a great training camp,” Devils forward Travis Zajac said. “He was playing better than how he started last year, but he’ll get a chance to come back even stronger. It’s one of those things as a young guy you just have to take in stride, not let it bother you, and just make sure you’re prepared to contribute when you do come back.”

“I met up with him right away after practice Thursday, and you feel so bad for him,” New Jersey forward Marcus Johansson stated. “This is once-in-a-lifetime thing to play an NHL game in Sweden and having family and friends here. He was playing really well, too, and working hard all summer.

“It’s not a fun situation and he’s not happy right now, but he’s a young kid and he has a lot of hockey ahead of him so you don’t want to risk anything by coming back too soon.”

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Calgary Flames

Flames’ Travis Hamonic Suffers Facial Fracture During Fight

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Calgary Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic will be out of action for a bit after he suffered a facial fracture during a fight with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Erik Gudbranson on opening night, the team officially announced on Friday.

In a corresponding move, the Flames called up defenseman Rasmus Anderson from the AHL to fill the empty roster spot.

Hamonic and Gudbranson got into it only 4:22 into the first period.

 

 

 

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Eastern Conference

Panthers’ Derek MacKenzie Retiring at End of Season

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Florida Panthers forward Derek MacKenzi will be calling it a career at the end of the 2018-2019 season, according to The Athletic’s George Richards.

MacKenzie, 37, is entering his 18th season and 5th with Florida and stated that he would like to stay involved with the organization when his retirement becomes official.

 

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