Posted on: October 19, 2011 6:25 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2011 7:56 pm
By: Adam Gretz
When the Philadelphia Flyers take on the Washington Capitals Thursday night they're going to get their first regular season look at Brayden Schenn, one of the key players acquired in the Mike Richards trade over the summer. He was recalled from the American Hockey League on Wednesday, after spending four games playing for the Adirondack Phantoms. He started the season in the minors for two main reasons. For one, he was recovering from a shoulder injury, and perhaps more importantly, his salary cap hit wasn't going to fit on the Flyers roster at the start of the year.
Because of his contract structure his cap hit for this season goes from $3.1 million all the way down to $1.69 million because he played at least one game in the minor leagues. He ended up playing four, scoring four goals to go with four assists. For a team that is crammed to the top of the NHL's salary cap that extra $1.41 million in cap space is a huge deal.
In a related move, the Flyers also sent Zac Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk back to the minor leagues.
Tim Panaccio of CSNPhiladelphia speculates Schenn could make his debut on a line with fellow rookies Matt Read and Sean Couturier, Philadelphia's first-round pick from this past June, which was acquired in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Jeff Carter. It would certainly be an interesting line, and a nice glimpse of what the future might hold for the Flyers as all three are highly touted, and in the case of Read and Couturier, already playing quite well at the NHL level.
As an 18-year-old rookie, Couturier is already logging a ton of minutes on the penalty kill, averaging 4:27 per game, a number that is fourth among all NHL forwards, trailing only Max Talbot, Lauri Korpikoski and Adam Hall. Read, meanwhile, has emerged as an early-season Calder Trophy favorite with two goals and four assists in five games. He's second on the team in scoring behind only Claude Giroux.
The Flyers, one of just four teams in the NHL that has yet to lose a game in regulation, are off to a 4-0-1 start and were the most recent team to systematically dismantle the Ottawa Senators, 7-2, on Tuesday night.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: July 20, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: July 21, 2011 11:59 am
Make that two arbitrations hearings avoided.
On the first day of scheduled arbitration hearings, the first two players reached last-minute deals to avoid the hearing process.
It started with the Coyotes and Lauri Korpikoski coming to terms on a two-year deal that Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet says is for $3.6 million. The left wing had a breakout season with the Coyotes last season, scoring 19 goals and posting 21 assists to go with a plus-17, all significantly surpassing his totals from his first two seasons in the NHL.
"We are happy to avoid arbitration and finalize a contract," Coyotes GM Don Maloney said.
A short while later, the Tampa Bay Lightning announced they avoided arbitration with Teddy Purcell, also on a two-year contract. Kypreos says that deal is worth $4.725 million. Purcell also enjoyed a breakout year last year with the Lightning, posting career highs with 17 goals and 34 assists, establishing himself as a solid second-line option for the Bolts. He also contributed in the postseason with 17 points (6-11) in 18 games.
It's not much of a surprise deals were done without the help of an intermediary. We explained yesterday how hard all the sides try to avoid actually making it to the arbitration hearing as it can be poisonous for future relations between the team and player.
Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:26 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:55 pm
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.
Photo: Getty Images
Tags: Antti Niemi, Arbitration, Blake Comeau, Brandon Dubinsky, Brian Stubits, Chicago Blackhawks, Chris Campoli, Clarke MacArthur, Jannik Hansen, Josh Gorges, Lauri Korpikoski, Mark Fraser, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Ryan Callahan, Shea Weber, Tampa Bay Lightning, Teddy Purcell, Vancouver Canucks, Zach Parise