Blog Entry

Arbitration anticipation: Let the pain begin

Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:55 pm

By Brian Stubits

Nobody wants to go to arbitration. The next time you hear any involved party is excited for arbitration battles will be the first.

It can be dangerous. It can certainly be ugly. It is always contentious.

The nature of the best resembles part of Festivus with the Airing of Grievances. At least there are no Feats of Strength as an arbiter lays down the decision instead of the sides fighting it out. The involved parties are forced to justify their stance in the negotiations, resulting in teams putting down their own player. Not a desirable stance to have to take.

Because of the combative nature, the process has been known to cause strains in relationships between teams and players. It's exactly why teams try to avoid the process more fervently than someone looks to evade root canals.

For that reason arbitration meetings often times don't happen. It's amazing how much easier it is to strike a deal with a deadline speeding up the negotiations. Always worked that way for me to get book reports done in school; nothing like a deadline of two days away to read the first page.

So it is highly likely only a few of the names headed to arbitration will actually have their hearing. That goes for the two biggest names on the list, Shea Weber and Zach Parise. The Predators and Devils respectively will try and hammer out contracts before an arbiter gets to set the reward. This has happened to three players in the last day as the Jets avoided a hearing with Blake Wheeler, the Ducks with Andrew Cogliano and the Sabres with Andrej Sekera, all reaching new deals.

But there will still be hearings. Teddy Purcell and the Lightning will have their case heard tomorrow, the first day, along with Lauri Korpikovski and the Coyotes. The next case will be Brandon Dubinsky and the Rangers. All of those hearings should happen with the potential for the Rangers/Dubinsky battle to be a tough one seeing as the sides still seem to be pretty far apart.

Or you will have the cases where teams just walk away from the award. It happened last year with Clarke MacArthur in Atlanta and more notably with Antti Niemi in Chicago, the teams electing to let the player find another team than pay them the determined amount. It will happen again this year to a Blackhawks player as the team has already said it cannot afford to bring Chris Campoli back.

Last year in total five players got as far as the arbitration hearing. Three of those players' awards were not matched. Teams are only allowed to walk away in a situation where the player filed for arbitration and the reward is $1.7 million or more. Anything less than that and the player stays put, regardless.

Obviously the most interesting cases are those of Parise and Weber. They are both franchise players and are due for substantial raises. The case of Weber is particularly appealing since the signing of Drew Doughty in Los Angeles seems to be waiting for the precedent set by the future Weber contract.

With all of that as the background, here's a list of all the players who, as of now, are scheduled for their turns in the ol' testy tango of arbitration. Expect names to disappear from this list faster than Michael J. Fox in family photos.

Arbitration schedule
Date Player Team
July 20 Lauri Korpikoski Coyotes
July 20 Teddy Purcell Lightning
July 21 Brandon Dubinsky Rangers
July 28 Josh Gorges Canadiens
July 28 Ryan Callahan Rangers
July 29 Jannik Hansen Canucks
August 2 Shea Weber Predators
August 3 Chris Campoli Blackhawks
August 3 Zach Parise Devils
August 4 Mark Fraser Devils
August 4 Blake Comeau Islanders

Photo: Getty Images

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Since: Oct 5, 2008
Posted on: July 22, 2011 7:56 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: July 21, 2011 6:20 pm

Arbitration anticipation: Let the pain begin

Man, if i'm Nashville I do what I have to do to lock up Weber for a long time.  You lose a big time D man like him who knows how long untill you get another.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:22 am

Arbitration anticipation: Let the pain begin

I don't understand why writers think Doughty and LA are waiting for Weber's case to set a precedent,  that doesn't make sense.  An arbitrator will most likely just award a one year deal for x dollars, that's not going to do a thing for Doughty or LA.   I'm sure Doughty and LA aren't even talking a one year deal, they are talking long term with big dollars being talked about.  And Weber's situation is a lot different in the sense he's an UFA in another year I believe... Doughty isn't.   LA has some control over him for a bit longer........  

For the life of me I still can't believe RFA star players are once again being ignored.... I hate unions but I'm shocked they aren't complaining about collusion....  Doughty is an unbelievable young player that almost any team would love to have.  Yeah, 4 first round picks is steep but tell me the Wings can't use him after their D looked awful most of last season.... and what a replacement he would be for Lidstrom when he retires?  How much would he learn next season with Lidstrom mentoring him?  Four first round picks isn't a big deal for the Wings.  They hardly draft in the first round anyway.... they trade them away most of the time for later round picks.... But Holland never goes after RFA's which tells me collusion in the NHL is happening all the time.

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