NHL Players Sign Deals As Arbitration Looms

NHL Players Sign Deals As Arbitration Looms&h=235&w=320&zc=1

Two players avoided arbitration on Monday but four more are still headed for salary arbitration hearings in Toronto unless they work out a deal with their teams beforehand. On Monday, Derek Stepan signed a six year deal with the New York Rangers. Salary details were not released but sources close to the team say that it is in the neighborhood of $6.5 million per season for a total value of $39 million.

Also on Monday, the Nashville Predators and forward Colin Wilson came to an agreement on a four year deal worth $15.75 million. Wilson and the Preds had been scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Tuesday. Earlier in the offseason, the Predators avoided arbitration with another forward as Craig Smith agreed to a five-year, $21.25 million contract on July 20.

Four more players are now slated for arbitration assuming that a deal doesn’t get done beforehand. The Washington Capitals and Marcus Johansson are scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday but media reports are suggesting that a deal should be reached before then. Johansson is seeking a $4.75 million, one-year contract while Washington has offered $3 million for one year. This looks like a fairly simple ‘split the difference’ situation. The Caps are still $5 million under the salary cap. Johansson, for his part, isn’t worried about the situation telling a local media outlet in Swedish: “I’m not worried about [the arbitration process]. I think I will continue to play [in Washington]. My focus right now is on training hard and getting myself prepared, for I know I will be playing.”

No word on any contract proceedings between the final three players facing arbitration and their respective teams. The Toronto Maple Leafs elected for arbitration with goaltender Jonathan Bernier and that hearing is set for Friday–but since it’s just a short cab ride away there’s a chance that this will be resolved prior to the hearing. The Minnesota Wild and Eric Haula are scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Friday as well while the Ottawa Senators and Mike Hoffman are set for a hearing on Thursday. There’s obviously a vested interest for both player and team to settle without arbitration since once the hearing ends the process is completely out of their control.

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