Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Malcolm Subban was the only restricted free agent in the Vegas organization to file for salary arbitration prior to the Friday deadline, the NHLPA announced.
A total of 40 players across the league filed for arbitration. Golden Knights defenseman Jake Bischoff did not file, and forward Nikita Gusev — who has been involved in trade talks over the past couple of weeks — was not eligible.
Arbitration has been a useful tool for the Golden Knights, and president of hockey operations George McPhee, in finding a healthy medium to get deals done for two of Vegas’ top players — defenseman Nate Schmidt and top center William Karlsson.
Schmidt was awarded a two-year, $3.8 million contract ($1.9 million AAV) as a result of the arbitration hearing in 2017. He was rewarded with a six-year contract extension ($5.95 million AAV) on Oct. 25.
Karlsson and the Golden Knights avoided arbitration last summer, settling on a one-year, $5.25 million contract following his 43-goal outburst in Vegas’ inagural season. Karlsson, entering restricted free agency this summer, signed an eight-year, $47.2 million deal ($5.9 million AAV) on June 24.
Dave Schoen of the Review-Journal reports that while the Golden Knights’ backup goaltender has filed for salary arbitration, a deal is expected long-before meetings begin to take place from July 20 - Aug. 4 in Toronto.
The 25-year-old former first-round pick signed a two-year, $1.3 million contract with the Boston Bruins on July 14, 2017. He was claimed off waivers by the Golden Knights on Oct. 3, 2017 and has served as the backup to Marc-Andre Fleury in that time.
It is expected Subban’s new deal will have an average annual value in the starting point of $1 million. The Golden Knights are also entertaining the same ballpark number for defenseman Deryk Engelland in his new contract.
Subban is 21-16-4 in his NHL career with a 2.88 goals-against average. He went 8-10-2 last season and recorded the first shutout of his career on March 21 against the Winnipeg Jets.