80°F
weather icon Clear

Karlsson extension the latest sign of Golden Knights culture

Updated June 23, 2019 - 4:27 pm

This isn’t the first time things have pointed back to those nice but completely unsuspecting types that handle media relations for parts of Bill Foley’s financial empire, much as William Karlsson isn’t the first Golden Knights player to care more about term than dollars when it comes to a contract extension.

It’s all defined by the same cause.

It all circles back to how an owner runs his franchise.

Karlsson reportedly has agreed to an eight-year extension with an average annual value of just under $6 million, but don’t embrace what will be a popular yet altogether lazy reaction that such a deal is some sort of immense steal for the team.

Nobody knows that and certainly can’t prove it right now, not even those rewarding him with such a contract, and they know more than anyone involved and, oh, about a million times more than anyone in my business (present company included) offering opinions.

Do you know when a team really gets a steal?

When the player over time proves it one.

That part is now on Karlsson, a 26-year-old center who, like a handful of teammates before, obviously made remaining in Las Vegas a priority over, perhaps, even the number of zeros on a paycheck.

Which brings us to something we absolutely know: Foley and his management team with the Knights have done an unbelievable job creating a culture that players want to be part of for the long term.

Which brings us back to those unsuspecting folks.

Foley’s portfolio is vast, from buying and revitalizing a struggling title insurance firm called Fidelity National Financial, to wineries and golf courses and hotels and ski resorts and steakhouses and fast-food restaurants and auto parts manufacturers.

But when he was awarded an NHL expansion franchise in 2016, despite his fondness for hockey and previous flirting with the idea of purchasing the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL, he didn’t come off as someone with great knowledge in terms of how sports media operates. How stubborn and unrelenting and bothersome we can be.

Those who handled inquiries for him at the time were also, shall we say, unaccustomed to such a consistent barrage of requests. I mean, they struggled.

But even as they all sort of learned on the job about the world of sports and those who cover it and how best to work with them as a way to engage a new fan base, one thing remained constant: Foley demanded everything be done in a first-class manner.

No detail left unfinished, no corner cut, no advantage missed for his team to have the best opportunity at succeeding.

Maybe it’s the U.S. Army in him. The intense feeling of loyalty. Maybe the businessman. But his players are treated beyond compare. They want for nothing on and off the ice.

Yes, winning helps. A lot. The Knights were good from the beginning and appear to be set up for such ways in the future. Players like to win.

Yes, the part about no state tax helps. More cheese in the ol’ bank account is never a bad thing.

And, no, these sorts of discounts — I hate that word, given the market simply bears what both player and management ultimately agree upon — probably don’t occur in Buffalo, and I love Buffalo.

But it’s Vegas.

Someone ask James Neal how much he missed it last season.

Credit the owner

Who is William Karlsson?

Who knows. Maybe the guy who, before arriving here, had a career-high season of nine goals in 2015-16. Maybe the guy who then netted 43 during a historic expansion run. Maybe the one whose total dropped to 24 last season.

Maybe a little of all those guys.

Is he a steal at eight years with an AAV of $5.9 million? Nobody knows. Not yet.

In four full years, he has produced one incredible NHL season, a solid one and two in Columbus where he was a depth forward with a good work ethic in every zone, and yet still got exposed in an expansion draft.

But know this: Like teammates such as Jonathan Marchessault and Alex Tuch and Shea Theodore and Nate Schmidt and even the likes of Mark Stone and Max Pacioretty, some who took less money than what the open market might have paid in time or simply desiring long-term security when traded to a place whose reputation is exemplary for how well it treats players, Karlsson cared more about term than dollars.

He wanted to be here for much longer than a minute.

That’s a direct credit to Foley and what he has created.

Once again, it all circles back to the owner.

Culture, man. If it’s not everything, it’s close.

More Golden Knights: Follow at reviewjournal.com/GoldenKnights and @HockeyinVegas on Twitter.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Golden Knights Videos
Aliens Invade City National Arena for Competition
Aliens attended the City National Arena for a competition to see who was best dressed. The prize was out of this world.
Golden Knights rally to beat Kings in OT, 3-2
The Golden Knights were down 2-0 halfway through the third period, but two quick goals helped get the team back on track to beat the Kings 3-2 in overtime.
Golden Knights' Deryk Engelland Shares Advice with Rookies - Video
Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland has some advice for rookies: “Stick with what got you there.” The veteran NHL player also recalls his first goal as a pro.
Golden Knights Continue Preseason Success with Win Over Avalanche - Video
The Golden Knights prospects are continuing to prove they are worthy of a starting position, this time with a shutout 5-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche.
Golden Knights Head Coach Gerard Gallant Praises Prospects - Video
A day after the Golden Knights 6-2 preseason victory over the Arizona Coyotes, head coach Gerard Gallant discussed how impressed he is with the prospects, including defensemen Nicolas Hague and Dylan Coghlan.
Golden Knights On First Preseason Win - Video
The Golden Knights talk about their first preseason win including Max Pacioretty's hat trick and putting Malcolm Subban as the goaltender for tonight's game.
Golden Knights Zamboni Lessons 101 - Video
The Golden Knights preseason tips off on Sunday, Sept. 15 and you know what that mean, it's time to roll out the zamboni! Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a zamboni operator for the Golden Knights? Golden Edge host Cassie Soto finds out!
Allegiant Unveils Golden Knights Plane - Video
Allegiant air officially unveils its new Golden Knights airbus that will take to the skies soon.
Golden Knights Rookie Camp: 3 Takeaways - Video
Vegas Golden Knights rookies took to the ice on Friday morning for practice at City National Arena. While the rookies mainly participated in drills, it was good to see the prospects get ice time. Golden Knights beat writers David Schoen and Ben Gotz discuss their three takeaways from the practice.
Golden Knights Host Charity Golf Classic - Video
The Golden Knights held its 2019 Charity Golf Classic on Wednesday at TPC Summerlin. Before teeing off, Golden Knights players Ryan Reaves, Jonathan Marchassault and Alex Tuch said who they thought were the worst and best golfers on their team.
Ryan Reaves performs wedding ceremony
Reverand Reavo makes his debut for one time only at the Chapel of Flowers for a get married by Ryan Reaves contest.
Vegas Golden Knights President Kerry Bubolz on the Golden Edge Podcast
Review-Journal reporters Ben Gotz and David Schoen talk with Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz about his experiences with LeBron James, the team's new initiatives, a possible MLS expansion team and more.
George McPhee Conference Call on Nikita Gusev trade - VIDEO
Golden Knights President of Operations George McPhee answers questions on a conference call about the teams most recent trade of Nikita Gusev to the New Jersey Devils.
Vegas Golden Knight's Deryk Engelland Happy to Re-Sign - Video
Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Deryk Engelland is happy to stay in Las Vegas after signing a one-year deal with the team.
Golden Aces hold Tryouts For 2019-2020 Season - Video
The Golden Aces hold tryouts for the 2019-2020 season for the Golden Knights.
Golden Knight's owner Bill Foley's House for sale in The Ridges - Real Estate Millions
Vegas Golden Knights, Fleury Make Day for Critically Ill Teenager in ESPN “My Wish” - Video
A 13-year-old Las Vegas boy who has faced Hodgkin’s lymphoma is treated to a special day by the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights in a new ESPN “My Wish” Series feature debuting Wednesday, July 17, on SportsCenter. In the feature, Doron Coldwell spends a day with the team and even gets an opportunity to replace his favorite player, three-time Stanley Cup winner Marc-Andre Fleury, in the net.
Golden Knights Sell "Battle Worn Armor" To Season Ticket Holders - Video
The Golden Knights sell their "battle worn" apparel throughout both of the teams seasons including pucks, sticks, helmets and skates.
Summerlin 4th of July Parade - VIDEO
On July 4th Summerlin will be hosting the 25th annual Summerlin Council Patriotic Parade, an event that has grown massively over the years
Golden Knights McPhee talks on the first day of NHL free agency - VIDEO
Golden Knights incoming president of operations George McPhee addresses the media as free agency starts.
Golden Knights Trade Colin Miller as Development Camp ends - VIDEO
George McPhee speaks to the media following the end of the Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Development Camp Day 4 - VIDEO
Nic Hague stands out at day 4 of Golden Knights development camp.
Golden Knights Hold First Scrimmage of Development Camp - Video
The first of three scrimmages was held at the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writers Adam Hill and David Schoen discuss what stood out to them.
Golden Knights George McPhee Discusses Erik Haula Trade - Video
A day after it was announced that Erik Haula had been traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, incoming President of Hockey Operations George McPhee spoke to the media discussing the move.
Golden Knights Trade Erik Haula - Video
The Golden Knights have traded Erik Haula to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for prospect Nicolas Roy. Golden Edge host Cassie Soto and Golden Knights beat writer Adam Hill discuss the trade.
Golden Knights Coaches Looking for Veterans to Step Up in Development Camp - Video
Day two of the 2019 Golden Knights Development Camp is in the books. Director of Player Development Wil Nichol says his staff is looking for the veterans of the camp to step up and be leaders to the younger guys, while at the same time doing their best to impress the coaching staff.
Golden Knights Draft Player with Strong Hockey Bloodlines - Video
The Golden Knights drafted Mason Primeau in the 5th round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Primeau is no stranger to professional hockey, both his dad (Wayne Primeau) and his uncle (Keith Primeau) played in the NHL.
Golden Knights Kelly McCrimmon Talks Development Camp - VIDEO
Golden Knights general manager Kelly McCrimmon talks about what he expects from everyone at development camp on their first day.
Golden Knights Dylan Coghlan On Veteran Experience - VIDEO
Golden Knights defenseman Dylan Coghlan talks about his veteran experience playing in Chicago and development camp.
Golden Knights President George McPhee talks about Williams Karlsson's 8 year deal
George McPhee presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Center William Karlsson speaks to media about 8 year contract
William Karlsson presser highlights June 25, 2019.
Golden Knights Development Camp at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
For the third consecutive year, Vegas Golden Knights Development Camp participants participated in a special community event at Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
THE LATEST