After the hulabaloo of the NHL free agency market settles down, comes the leagues star (and not so super talented) players arbitration hearings to plead their perspective worth. The last thing any team wants is to end up in the arbitration room with its best player.
Should players and clubs not be able to reach an agreement before the respective case gets under way, below is a list of the scheduled hearings.
July 20: Lauri Korpikoski (Phoenix), Teddy Purcell (Tampa Bay), Viktor Stalberg (Chicago)
July 21: Andrew Cogliano (Edmonton), Brad Richardson (Los Angeles), Brandon Dubinsky (New York Rangers)
July 25: Andrej Sekera (Buffalo), Brian Boyle (New York Rangers)
July 28: Josh Gorges (Montreal), Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers)
July 29: Jannik Hansen (Vancouver)
Aug. 2: Shea Weber (Nashville)
Aug. 3: Chris Campoli (Chicago), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg), Zach Parise (New Jersey)
Aug. 4: Mark Fraser (New Jersey), Blake Comeau (New York Islanders)
Now to the casual of hockey’s fans, July 1st could be the favorite day of the year. Watching their teams wheel and deal to stack their depth to bring the Cup home. But to this season hockey vet, the arbitration season draws much more excitement. The easiest way to explain it is that when July 1 strikes, it’s pretty much open season for players. I feel once the arbitrator rules, it becomes much more tactical, and a general manager’s skills can be shown in true color.
For fans of the Nashville Predators and New Jersey Devils, a summer’s day in the boardroom could be the most important date of the year.
Predators’ defenseman Shea Weber and Devils’ forward Zach Parise are among the handful of NHL players scheduled to undergo the trial-by-fire of salary-arbitration.
It’s an efficient way to settle a contract dispute, if you don’t mind the potential to poison or even sever the relationship between player and team.
When push comes to shove, most of the teams and players involved in arbitration usually work out some kind of deal. And even though the sole purpose of these hearings is money, we could see some of the excitement that we saw on July 1st, again.