Thursday, August 11, 2005


Arbitration SENSations

One aspect of the new CBA we haven't yet experienced is the new '2-Way' arbitration that may very well likely lead to be more sane awards being handed out to players.

From the NHLPA, the following players filed for salary arbitation:

Dallas Stars
Brenden Morrow

Edmonton Oilers
Shawn Horcoff

New York Islanders
Trent Hunter
Justin Papineau
Brent Sopel
Mike York

Ottawa Senators
Marian Hossa

Pittsburgh Penguins
Dick Tarnstrom
Josef Melichar

Phoenix Coyotes
Paul Mara

Vancouver Canucks
Mattias Ohlund

Club-Elected Salary Arbitration Notification deadline is August 11, 2005 at 5 p.m. EST.Hearings will be held in Toronto during the period of August 23 – 27, 2005.
It looks like Mad Mike Milbury will be quite busy, with Mike York and Brent Sopel (he just traded for them) added to their list.

Remember kids, this isn't your mama's arbitation. The two sides will each pick a number, and the arbitator will pick EITHER/OR, and not some random number from the sky.

As a general matter, players will be eligible for salary arbitration after four years in the League instead of three. For the first time, Clubs also will have the right to elect salary arbitration with respect to two categories of players. For players who are earning more than $1.5 million in their prior year, Clubs will have the right to elect salary arbitration in lieu of making a Qualifying Offer. Clubs also will have the right to elect salary arbitration with respect to other Group 2 players who chose not to take the Club to arbitration.

I just wonder if 1. the arbitrators will be just as player-friendly as before and 2. if any of the NHL clubs will seek to take players to arbitration, rather than the other way around.

The Senate Problem

The CBA isn't just hurting the big market teams like Toronto, the small market Senators will feel the pinch after years of building their team the 'right' way.

With a bunch of great young talents entering their primes, you know it will get too expensive to keep them all. Even if owner Eugene Melnyk was willing to spend the money to keep each of his guys, he wouldn't be able to. Every player wants their piece of the pie, and one or more of them will have to be dealt...

Yesterday, the Sens took the first step in locking up two of their key components:

The Senators have re-signed right-winger Martin Havlat to a $2.6-million US, one-year contract and centre Mike Fisher to a three-year deal that will pay him $1.5 million next season.

...and then this bombshell

Hossa told the Sun yesterday he turned down a three-year deal -- sources say it was worth $11.5 million (all figures US) -- from the Senators last week.

If he's going to sign a long-term contract with Ottawa, he wants close to the $21 million over three years that Jarome Iginla got from Calgary.
We're at a dead point right now," said Hossa, who was scheduled to make $3.45 million last season. "We are nowhere. They offered me a three-year contract, but it wasn't good enough.

"It wasn't anywhere close to my comparables. If you look at my points the last two seasons, they've been close to Iginla and (Boston's Joe) Thornton.

Someone should let Maid Marian Hossa that, under the new CBA, every dollar that he 'earns' is a dollar that CANNOT be spent on another player salary for his team.

Now, I hear a lot of people say that Hossa couldn't possibly earn himelf Iginla money. They (you know who 'they' are) say Hossa doesn't have the physicality and intangible assets that Iginla brings to the table.

Arbitrators, however, do not measure physical and intangible assets. They look at the hard numbers.

Marian Hossa

03-04 81GP 36-46-82 +4
02-03 80GP 45-35-80 +8
01-02 80GP 31-35-66 +11

Jerome Iginla
03-04 81GP 41-32-73 +21
02-03 75GP 35-32-67 -10
01-02 82GP 52-44-96 +27

So, Hossa has stayed a bit healthier the last two seasons and has outproduced Iginla in that same stretch. Yes, I know Hossa plays with MUCH better linemates, but arbitrators have never really cared who the player has played with.

Looking at those numbers, which arbitrators and agents do, Hossa has a very good case to get Iginla type money, even if he's not as truly valuable as Iginla on the ice.

Anyway, we can pretty much guess with Senator will find himself out the door sooner than later.
For more great Senators coverage, check out the new Hockey Country Blog written by Chris McMurtry. There certainly is a lot of doom and gloom for a team that had such a bright future going for it.

Wouldn't it be more fair for the arbitrator to be able to pick a number in between? The player is going to ask for too high, the team too low, and the right number is probably somewhere in between.
Why do a sense a little bit of schadenfreude?
depends on the agreed abitration process. some allow the arbitrator to choose one side OR the otheronly.some give the arbirator leadway in between,and someallow the arbirator leadway even above (or below)on the table offers!!!

i'm not sure on this roundof hockey, but a lot of sports require a pick one or the other,manly because contracts are very complecated, loaded, have clauses and incentives etc. so splitting the middle isnt fesible
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