July 27, 2014

Thomas Drance

2014-07-27

Montreal Canadiens defender P.K. Subban isn’t sharing details regarding the state of contract negotiation between his camp (he’s represented by Don Meehan of Newport Sports Agency), and the Canadiens. In this case, no news is probably good news for Habs fans, even if it’s bad news for pageview hungry hockey bloggers.

 

Subban did reveal that negotiations are being kept intentionally quiet, after adding earlier in the week that he hopes to be a “lifer” with the Canadiens. Taken as a whole, it sure seems unlikely that Subban’s salary for next season and beyond will be decided by the award of an arbitrator. 

 

Subban’s salary arbitration hearing is scheduled for Friday, August 1; and the two sides have to exchange “briefs” no less than 48 hours beforehand (or, on Wednesday morning). Those briefs will include Montreal’s term election (two-years is kind of a no-brainer) as well as the figure each side is seeking from the arbitrator. I’ll be very curious to see if negotiations last that long, because if they do, we’ll get more details about how the two sides see Subban’s value when those salary arbitration award targets leak.

 

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One guy who is reportedly poised to actually go through the arbitration process is Florida Panthers forward Jimmy Hayes. The mammoth 24-year-old forward showed some touch at the net front last season, scoring 11 goals and adding 7 assists in 55 appearances split between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Panthers.

 

Despite the latest news about the Panthers and Hayes being far enough apart that an arbitration hearing might be warranted, I’d be pretty surprised if it occurred. As far as I can tell, the last player to actually go through with an arbitration hearing might have been Shea Weber (certainly all 15 cases settled a year ago, and all 16 the year before that, and even Vladimir Sobotka is listed as a “settlement” on the NHLPA website so 16 of 23 scheduled hearings have been settled this summer, too).

 

Salary arbitration hearings appear to be like offer sheets, they just don’t seem to happen anymore. 

 

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Derick Brassard and the New York Rangers have ‘exchanged briefs’ ahead of their scheduled salary arbitration hearing, which is set to take place on Monday morning in Toronto. The two sides are over a $1 million apart in their award targets, with Brassard seeking just under $5 million and the Rangers countering with just under $4. 

 

I have a lot of optimism for Brassard and think he’s more than capable of filling Brad Richards’ top-six spot for the Rangers next season, I also think this one is a slam-dunk to get settled before Monday’s hearing. Brassard is too good, the Rangers have too much space after locking up Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider on the cheap last week, centermen are at too big a premium to risk alienating, and that $1 million gap just doesn’t seem insurmountable. 

 

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The Ottawa Senators are poised to begin negotiating potential contract extensions with capable forwards like Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur, according to assistant general manager Pierre Dorion. It’ll be fascinating to see how these negotiations turn out, in particular since the Senators have seen a steady outflow of star talent in recent seasons  (Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson). Can the Senators reverse the recent trend, and prove that they’re able to retain star-level talent this time around (with Bobby Ryan in particular)? I have my doubts… 

 

 

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The Leafs avoided salary arbitration with James Reimer this week, so the attention will now turn to their last remaining NHL-level restricted free agent Jake Gardiner. Maple Leafs general manager (but for how long?) Dave Nonis doesn’t seem to think it’ll be too difficult to negotia