Arbitration clearly works, so why not make it available to more players?

Mike Hoffman  (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

It should really come as no surprise that of the 25 players who were slated to go to salary arbitration this summer, none has actually sat in front of the arbitrator and 22 of them have resulted in contract resolutions. That’s pretty much the standard these days.

And it should also come as no surprise if the remaining three are resolved well in advance of their hearings. Well, except Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche, largely because we have no idea what Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy are thinking these days. He actually might end up going. He’s slated for Thursday. (Martin Marincin of the Toronto Maple Leafs is scheduled for Aug. 2 and Michael Stone of the Arizona Coyotes is on the docket for Aug. 4.)

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Five NHL jerseys players should have refused to wear

Todd Bertuzzi. (Getty Images)

On Saturday, Chicago White Sox all-star pitcher Chris Sale was scratched from his start and sent home because he refused to wear the team’s throwback uniform. It went beyond that, of course. Sale reportedly went into the clubhouse and cut up his own jersey, along with those of his teammates.

Sale’s gripe? The collar on the jersey was uncomfortable and he was adamant that he would not wear it. Sale was eventually suspended for five games by the team.

It was a bizarre story, but one that could plausibly play out in any team sport. In the NBA, for instance, many players complained when the new sleeved jerseys were introduced.

In hockey, the basic design of the jersey has been largely the same for the past 100 years. There isn’t much that can be done that could throw a player into a fit of uncomfortable rage. The aesthetics of hockey jerseys on the other hand, they have at times been a cause for concern.

Here are five NHL jerseys players should have refused to wear.

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Senators’ sniper Hoffman says ‘first priority’ is to get deal done in Ottawa

Jared Clinton
Mike Hoffman (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

It hasn’t been easy for the Ottawa Senators and Mike Hoffman to find common ground when it comes to contract talks.

Ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, Hoffman, then 25, and the Senators headed to salary arbitration. The winger was looking for a one-year, $3.4-million deal. The Senators countered with a one-year offer worth $1.75 million. When the dust settled, Hoffman was back in Ottawa for the past season on a one-year, $2-million contract that was handed out in arbitration.

With the one-year deal up, though, Hoffman and the Senators are headed for arbitration once again unless they can come to terms on a new deal before Aug. 4. But Hoffman said the plan — or at least his hope — is that the two sides can come to terms on a deal that will keep him a Senator.

“That’s obviously my No. 1 goal,” Hoffman said, via The Ottawa Citizen. “I love Ottawa, I love the fans there. We’re a great team, great guys, so that’s obviously my first priority, to try to get something done with them.”

However, getting a deal done will almost assuredly mean the Senators are going to have to shell out more cash than they had previously after Hoffman upped his goal and point totals to new career highs on this past season’s one-year pact. Read more

Five salary arbitrations to keep an eye on as NHLPA announces hearing dates

Petr Mrazek (Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Free agency is well under way but the opportunity to negotiate a new deal has led a number of restricted free agents to salary arbitration.

The NHLPA announced the dates for the 24 arbitration hearings that are slated to take place between July 20 and Aug. 4, though some players have already reached agreements with their respective clubs ahead, helping both sides avoid arbitration.

The most productive player to avoid arbitration thus far is Kyle Palmieri, who posted 30 goals and 57 points in 82 games with the New Jersey Devils in 2015-16. Palmieri had filed to take the Devils to arbitration to hammer out a new deal on July 5, but New Jersey and Palmieri landed on a five-year, $23.25-million deal just two days later. Others who have filed but since settled include Detroit Red Wings minor-league goaltender Jared Coreau and Philadelphia Flyers winger Jordan Weal, both of whom signed deals worth over $600,000.

There are some big names still without contracts for the upcoming campaign, however. Here are five key arbitration hearings that could impact some important players: Read more