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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.

Calgary Flames

Flames’ Johnny Gaudreau Enjoying Strong Season

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The Calgary Flames have seen some strong play from forward Johnny Gaudreau, who has played well enough to earn his 5th All-Star selection.

“Obviously he deserves it,” Flames forward Michael Frolik said, according to NHL.com. “He’s an unbelievable player. He’s so fast, and in those small spaces, those tight turns, he can handle the puck with speed. It’s fun to watch him and he’s been great this year.”

Flames defenseman Mark Giordana spoke highly of Gaudreau’s play.

“He can get you the puck in situations where you don’t think he can,” Giordano said. “But I think what people don’t see is just how competitive he is. The guys who are the best players in the League are [competitive] because they want the puck in key situations, and that’s how he is.

“Just look at his overtime play and stuff like that. I’m happy for the way his career is going but this year he’s taken that next step, for sure.”

“I think last year we played with Micheal Ferland, who was a little bit more of a shooter,” Gaudreau said of his strong play this season.

“Lindholm, obviously, is a shooter as well, but he can see the ice really well. He can make some pretty high-end plays, so I think I just got an opportunity to shoot a little more with a player like that on my line.”

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Eastern Conference

Lightning Shopping Slater Koekkoek

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are shopping defenseman, and former first round pick, Slater Koekkoek, according to SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman.

Tampa Bay is now motivated to trade away their once prized prospect, who is currently playing with the Syracuse Crunch on a conditioning stint.

Koekkoek is waiver eligible and will become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights in the summer of 2019.

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Columbus Blue Jackets

Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky Will Not Dress Due To Team Incident

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced that veteran goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will not dress for tonight’s game against the Nashville Predators due to what is being described as an “incident”.

Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen stated the following:

“There are certain expectations and values that we have established for our players that define our culture. An incident occurred in which Sergei failed to meet those expectations and values, so we made the decision that he would not be with the team for tonight’s game. This is an internal matter and we will have no further comment at this time.”

In corresponding moves, the Blue Jackets has recalled Jean-Francois Berube, and placed both Brandon Dubinsky and Markus Hannikainen on injured reserve.

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