NHL Salary Arbitration Period

Good morning, boneheads! It’s ilb. Just trying to find something to talk about in July.

The NHL is entering its next offseason stage, the arbitration period. As far as I know, there was no team elected arbitration in the league this year ( deadline was July 6th. )

Here are the players who filed for arbitration, and the dates of hearings (courtesy of NHL.com). I excluded a few cases that settled prior to arbitration date. Most do, in general. Jesper Fast is one of them. He filed and almost immediately signed a 3 year deal at $1.85M AAV. Hearings start July 20 and go through August 4th . Players who filed for arbitration aren’t eligible to sign offer sheets. ( Sorry, BDL ) 🙂

Arizona Coyotes: Jordan Martinook (July 26)

Boston Bruins: Ryan Spooner (July 26)

Buffalo Sabres: Nathan Beaulieu (Aug. 4),Robin Lehner (July 27)

Calgary Flames: Micheal Ferland (July 22)

Colorado Avalanche: Matt Nieto (July 31)

Detroit Red Wings: Tomas Tatar (July 20)

Edmonton Oilers: Joey LaLeggia (July 25)

Los Angeles Kings: Kevin Gravel (Aug. 2)

Minnesota Wild: Mikael Granlund (Aug. 4), Nino Niederreiter (Aug. 3)

Nashville Predators: Viktor Arvidsson (July 22), Marek Mazanec (July 27), Austin Watson (July 24)

New York Islanders: Calvin de Haan (Aug. 2)

New York Rangers: Mika Zibanejad (July 25)

Ottawa Senators: Ryan Dzingel (July 21), Jean-Gabriel Pageau (July 28)

Pittsburgh Penguins: Brian Dumoulin (July 24), Conor Sheary (Aug. 4)

St. Louis Blues: Colton Parayko (July 20)

Tampa Bay Lightning: Tyler Johnson (July 20), Ondrej Palat (July 25)

Vancouver Canucks: Reid Boucher (Aug. 1), Michael Chaput (July 21)

Vegas Golden Knights: Nate Schmidt (Aug. 3)

Winnipeg Jets: Connor Hellebuyck (Aug. 1)

A decision must be made within 48 hours of the hearing. Also, teams with at least one player elected arbitration case will be able to execute another buyout. It’s called a buyout outside of the regular period. It starts on the third day after settlement of the team’s last arbitration case, or receipt of the team’s last arbitration award, and lasts 48 hours. The Rangers are unlikely to use it since buying out Staal is way too expensive. Nick Holden isn’t eligible for this type of buyout since his average salary is below $2.75M. In fact, since the number $2.75M was set in 2013 with an annual increase (percentage) similar to the average NHL salary increase year by year, I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t be able to buy out Klein that way either. Another reason to appreciate his move. 

Free Agency Checklist

Before free agency began, I listed the following as the items the ones upon which the Rangers would have to spend their cap space prior to the season, either by signing or by trade:

  1. Re-sign Zibanejad and Fast  UPDATE: Fast re-signed for 3 years at $1.85 million AAV
  2. Backup goaltender
  3. At least one defenseman, should be two, but could go up to three if Klein retires.
  4. Fourth line center
  5. Either a first line center, top six winger, or third line center, depending on how the team wants to deploy Zibanejad, Hayes, and Miller.

So far, the team has acquired Kevin Shattenkirk ($6.65 million AAV x 4 years), Ondrej Pavelec ($1.3 million x 1 year), and (unofficially UPDATE: Desharnais signing has been made official) David Desharnais ($1 million x 1 year). Those three signings satisfy items 2, 3, and either 4 or 5, depending on how the team intends to deploy Desharnais.  I imagine he is being brought in like Pirri to play on the fourth line with opportunity on the power play. Unlike Pirri, he is less of a shooter and more of a set up man. Great, just what we needed on the PP: more passers.

You can read my post from 7/2 to see what I think of Shattenkirk and Pavelec. The really short version is I really like the Shattenkirk signing and really hate the Pavelec signing.

I’m disappointed that we weren’t in on Nail Yakupov, who signed a one year deal with Colorado on short money. There are still some other fliers out there that I’d like to take. Mikhail Grigorenko is one, although there is an unconfirmed report that he’s signed a three year deal with CSKA Moscow. Alex Chiasson is still out there. Advanced stats darling Yohann Auvitu would also be an intriguing pickup for the AHL with the possibility of earning more in the NHL. Bringing back Viktor Stalberg would be a good move for the fourth line, and I know the Rangers like him as they tried to bring him back last year but couldn’t make the dollars work.  Then there are guys like Jagr, Vanek, and Jussi Jokinen, who still have great hands but the legs are pretty much shot. On defense, there isn’t much else out there. Everyone is either a lefty or has a lot of baggage/question marks.  Cody Franson would be my pick as far as a flier goes, simply because he’s the youngest of an old and//or slow lot of right handers. Dennis Wideman would probably be next, but seeing as how the NHL officials hate him and the team he plays for, he’s probably someone to avoid.

My guess is the Rangers will now focus on item #1 on the list at the top: re-signing Zibanejad and Fast. Once those two are locked up, they will be able to revisit the FA and trade markets with a better idea of their cap situation in the short and long terms.

Brief Review of NYR on 7/1

The Rangers made two major moves yesterday. The first was widely reported prior to the opening of free agency that we would sign Ondrej Pavelec as Lundqvist’s backup. This was an absolute mistake. He is not an NHL level goaltender. He is barely an AHL level goaltender. Just hate this move.

The second, much larger move was to land Kevin Shattenkirk for only 4 years at 6.65 million. I happen to think he’s a great player, but I certainly understand some thinking that he’s not. It’s a great contract, and Shattenkirk displayed tremendous loyalty to take this deal, as he left up to 22.4 million on the table to sign here, a staggering figure, especially since his whole contract is only 26.6.

Anyway, HAV at it.