The National Hockey League Players’ Association released their list of players who have filed for arbitration. If you need a refresher of how the process works, here’s a brief overview from last off-season.
Arbitration is a process used to settle contract disputes between a player the the team. It is one of the beneficial bargaining tools restricted free agents have at the negotiating table. Each player will have a hearing with their team and a neutral third-party, where the two sides will state their case for their salary and the third-party will decide their salary. Arbitration is only available to players who have four years of NHL experience before they are eligible for salary arbitration (the term is reduced for those who signed their first NHL contract after the age of 20).
While at the hearing, only certain pieces of evidence can be admissible in front of the arbitrator.
What is allowed:
- Overall performance (including statistics) from all previous seasons.
- Number of games, injuries, and illnesses the player has had in their career.
- How long the player has been in the NHL and years played with the team in arbitration.
- Measurements and information relating to the overall success or failure to the team.
- The effect the player has on the team in the locker room and off-ice (leadership qualities and public appeal).
- Salaries and performance statistics of comparable players to the player in arbitration.
What isn’t allowed:
- Salaries and performance statistics of comparable players who signed a contract as an unrestricted free agent.
- Interviews, video, and reports from the media.
- Team finances.
- Salary cap and payroll information of the team.
The team can only take a player to arbitration once in his career (no matter how many teams he’s played with) but there is no limit to the number of times a player can take the team to arbitration.
Hearings are scheduled in Toronto between the dates of July 20 to August 4. It is common that the team and their restricted free agent(s) can come to a deal before the hearing. And once the ruling (within 48 hours of the hearing) is made teams can either pay the player the awarded salary or walk away, in which the player can hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
Note: Arizona’s Mikkel Boedker originally appeared on the arbitration list but signed a one-year deal worth $3.75 million Tuesday afternoon with the Coyotes.
Detroit Red Wings
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
Michael Del Zotto
St. Louis Blues