Sunday, July 08, 2007

Salary arbitration news (part 2)

Notable players whose teams elected to take them to salary arbitration:

Derek Boogaard, Minnesota
Henrik Lundqvist, N.Y. Rangers

N.B.: Teams who elect for arbitration cannot walk away from a result.

I don't have a full list compiled on these players quite yet (or know if anyone other than Lundqvist falls into this category), but consider it a work in progress.

Here was an earlier look at players who elected for salary arbitration.


At 2:31 p.m., July 08, 2007, Anonymous Mogen_david said...

The only team initiated arbitration I have found to date (deadline was 5pm EDT) is the Wild and Boogard.

At 2:47 p.m., July 08, 2007, Blogger saskhab said...

If you have an arbitration hearing schedule, you cannot be signed to an offer sheet from another team. That's why the Rags are taking Lundqvist to arbitration. They're guaranteed to have him back next year now.

At 2:49 p.m., July 08, 2007, Blogger Shane Giroux said...


I was just about to ask why the team would take him to arbitration but that makes perfect sense.

They could still sign him to a multi-year deal before the arbitration hearing which I would assume they're trying to do.

At 2:51 p.m., July 08, 2007, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Good point Saskhab; I forgot to mention the reason why Lunqvist was in this position.

Apparently they are hoping he gets an award under $3-million and that they can sign him longterm after this season. The Rangers are incredibly close against the cap and really don't have the room for a $5-million per year longterm deal right now.

Funny how that happens when you blow ~$15-million on two UFAs.

At 3:13 p.m., July 08, 2007, Anonymous David Johnson said...

The Rangers have about $9 million in cap room but have Lundqvist, Avery and Hossa still to sign as RFA's and hope to also have enough room to keep Shanahan. They should be able to do that if Lundqvist makes less than $3 million but I think he earns more than that in arbitration. Consider that Niklas Backstrom got $3.1 million with only about 40 games of NHL experience. Chris Mason and Toskala are only proven backups and they signed extensions for $3 and $4 million respectively. Lundqvist is clearly better than any of those goalies. I'd be surprised if the Rangers could get Lundqvist for under $3 million in arbitration. Same holds true for the Senators and Ray Emery.

At 3:45 p.m., July 08, 2007, Blogger Shane Giroux said...

They're hoping for under 3 million? I hope they're not holding their breath for it.

2.34 GAA and .917 save pct in the regular season, 2.07 GAA and .924 in the playoffs.

Tough to call for sure but I would guess at 4.25. I'll come back and delete this comment if I was wrong ;)

At 3:54 p.m., July 08, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

One needs to remember that arbitrators can use as benchmarks only similar RFAs who have voluntarily signed contractsd in the past year.

Therefore, they cannot use UFA signings or contract extensions of non RFAs. This excludes the Toskla extension from consideration.

The most comparable from the players point of view will be the Mason and Backstrom signings being used as benchmarks. The team will argue the Cam Ward and Miller signings should be used.

The arbitrator in making comparisons must also restrict himself/herself to quantitative league approved statistics, such as games played and won, GAA and SV%. Qualitative arguments about how the player performed, while often presented, cannot be used by the arbitrator in justifying the award.

Based on this, I think Lundqvist would probably get an award somewhere around $3.0 to $3.5 for one year, while Emery would get about $3.25 to $3.75.

Don't forget most players (about 75%) never get to the arbitration hearing as a contract is usually signed a few days before the hearing, as everyone has a good idea of what the award will probably be and neither side wants to take a risk on a "wild card" decision by an arbitrator.

At 4:36 p.m., July 08, 2007, Anonymous Frank said...

Just a further note on this James, I think it might be in the interests of the Rangers to sign a contract with Lundqvist before the hearing. And it might be in the interests of Lundqvist to play hardball with the Rangers and go through with the hearing.

As Saskhab has ponted out, the Rangers have done this only to shelter Lundqvist from receiving a $4 or $5 million multi year offer sheet - following the Lowe - Vanek affair. This was never the purpose of reverse arbitration, and the Rangers have used this provision in a grossly unfair manner.

If they actually go to a hearing the Rangers MUST produce evidence as to why Lundqvists salary should be REDUCED FROM LAST YEAR'S $858,000 (plus 10% qualifying offer).

Clearly, the arbitrator will see this argument as absurd - and see the real purpose here was to deny Lundqvist the ability to receive an attractive offer sheet.

Although not permitted, I have seen judges and arbitrators give very high awards - well above what the evidence would support - if they think one party has acted in a grossly unfair manner. So maybe Lundqvist might receive $4 million or more after all.

At 5:43 p.m., July 08, 2007, Blogger Paul said...

Frank, qualitative evidence is actually allowed, in the form of "any special qualities of leadership or public appeal not inconsistent with the fulfillment of his responsibilities as a playing member of his team".

Does anybody know if the arbiter can award any salary? I seem to recall them going to baseball-style where they can only choose one side or the other.

At 6:21 p.m., July 11, 2007, Blogger Iffy said...

Kevin Lowe has mentioned that Pitkanen is going to arbitration. After a little bit of googling, it appears that Philadelphia has taken him to arbitration. Any thoughts on where this would stand? Obviously Edmonton now has to take over the Flyer's role in the hearing. Nice first date?


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