Friday, June 13, 2008

Penguins file for arbitration with Fleury

The Pittsburgh Penguins have elected to file for salary arbitration with goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, it was announced today by Executive Vice President and General Manager Ray Shero.

Arbitration hearings are set by the National Hockey League and take place from July 20 to August 4. Both sides can continue to negotiate a contract until that time. As a result of the filing, the Penguins retain his rights and he will not become a restricted free agent on July 1.
>> team release
Pittsburgh's likely going to want Fleury on a longer term deal than he'd get via arbitration, so I wouldn't expect it to get to that point, but this eliminates the possibility of him signing an offer sheet.

It had been suggested the Capitals could offer Fleury a deal if he became an RFA.

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At 3:26 p.m., June 13, 2008, Anonymous Ryan said...

Is it just me, or does that seem like a loophole?

At 4:27 p.m., June 13, 2008, Blogger Adam C said...

I may be wrong, Ryan, but I believe that the player has to agree to the arbitration as well, and waive his free agent status.

At 4:52 p.m., June 13, 2008, Blogger Kel said...

I wouldn't say it's a loophole. It's part of the "exclusive rights" a team has on players under contract below a certain age. Once arbitration is filed, no offer sheet is allowed until the decision comes. (The team then can choose whether to accept it or let the player become UFA) I think the original intention of club-initiated arbitration (new under this current CBA) is to avoid forcing teams to make qualifying offer to players whose performance don't deserve the QO salary. Now, with offer sheets more often, it's become a weapon to defend against offer sheets and hold on to the young player for another year or two. I don't think arbitration award can be longer than two years and I don't think the same player can face club-initiated arbitration multiple times in his career.

At 7:51 p.m., June 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks great for Pens. The only two previous cases (team opting for arb.) were Roberto Luongo and Joni Pitkanen. As we know both got traded.

Fleury's case is closer to Pitkanen when offer sheet is feared, besides in Pitkanen's case Europe was a real threat.

Hopefully Fleury, his agent and Pens have a good communication or this could turn ugly in a Pittsburgh minute.

At 12:38 a.m., June 14, 2008, Blogger bradley said...

Not a surprising move.

Just curious, but who suggested the Caps would offer Fleury anything? They won't have the cap space to sign him to an unmatchable contract, and GMGM isn't the type to make a high (matchable) offer to another GM just to screw with his cap space.

At 2:00 a.m., June 14, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Bah, the question Caps fans are asking en masse.

I'm afraid I can't recall where I saw it, but I remember reading the suggestion and thinking it made some sense. At the very least, it would really monkey with Pittsburgh's salary situation.

I can see a scenario where Washington has difficultly re-signing Huet and has to look elsewhere.


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