Braden Holtby (Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
The NHLPA has released the arbitration dates for restricted free agents who have filed and are still seeking new deals. The big names, such as Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and Rangers center Derek Stepan, will head to arbitration in late July should a contract not be reached beforehand.
The final week of July could be an interesting one if a few players and their respective teams can’t settle on new deals.
Monday, the NHLPA released the arbitration dates for restricted free agents, including players such as the Capitals’ Braden Holtby and Marcus Johnasson, Rangers’ Derek Stepan, Devils’ Adam Larsson and Senators’ Mike Hoffman, all of whom will get their chance to get the deal they’re after following July 23.
Rarely do star players actually make it to arbitration, so the likelihood of one – let alone all five – of the above-listed names taking their contract negotiations to court is unlikely, but there’s still the possibility that one of the group does. Reports surfaced this past weekend that Stepan and the Rangers had yet to discuss a long-term deal, which could make him a likely candidate for arbitration.
In addition to the player-elected arbitration, dates have been announced for the two players undergoing club-elected arbitration, the Oilers’ Justin Schultz (July 24) and Maple Leafs’ Jonathan Bernier (July 31). Again, the likelihood of either making it all the way to arbitration is slim, but there’s potential for it to happen.
In arbitration, both sides argue what they believe to be fair value for the services of the player. The club will aim for a lower salary, giving reasons why the player doesn’t deserve the amount he’s seeking, and the player’s side will argue reasons for the increase in pay he is seeking. It’s not hard to see why team’s want to avoid taking players with whom they have a good relationship to arbitration, because the last thing a team wants to do is list the reasons they don’t think the player is good enough to deserve their requested salary.
Find below the list of players and arbitration dates, via NHL.com:
Arizona Coyotes: Philip Samuelsson (July 21), Brendan Shinnimin (July 20)
Calgary Flames: Lance Bouma (July 22), Paul Byron (July 30), Josh Jooris (July 28)
Colorado Avalanche: Andrew Agozzino (July 20), Mat Clark (July 22)
Edmonton Oilers: Justin Schultz (July 24) *
Minnesota Wild: Erik Haula (July 31)
Nashville Predators: Craig Smith (July 20), Colin Wilson (July 28)
New Jersey Devils: Eric Gelinas (July 21), Adam Larsson (July 29)
New York Rangers: Derek Stepan (July 27)
Ottawa Senators: Alex Chiasson (July 23), Mike Hoffman (July 30)
Philadelphia Flyers: Michael Del Zotto (July 21)
Toronto Maple Leafs: Jonathan Bernier (July 31)*
Washington Capitals: Braden Holtby (July 23), Marcus Johansson (July 29)
* -- club-elected arbitration