Woe is the arbitrator
I'm still tied up, but Matt Fenwick at the Battle of Alberta has the angles covered on all the recent arbitration bellyaching that's been going on:
... [Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons] appears to be lamenting the fact that a team that drafts (or otherwise acquires) a lot of young players who make The Leap at the same time cannot afford to keep them all, and keep their roster intact. Fans of many teams will sympathize with this general statement (Edmonton c. 87-91, Calgary c. 91-96, Ottawa c. 2006, etc.). These same fans were allowed (or encouraged) to think, during the lockout, that a salary cap would mean this would never be a problem.As I said yesterday, the Daniel Brière arbitration award isn't some sort of apocalypic sign that the new CBA has foresaken us: The Buffalo Sabres have choices here, and like every other team, they aren't easy ones.
But the only way to accomplish this business of protecting roster makeup is to divorce player compensation from performance, past and anticipated. The system that allows a team to keep a host of players who perform well is the system that does not reward those good performances.
I can't say I've heard many complaints about the Colorado Avalanche having to deal Alex Tanguay.