Twenty players have filed for salary arbitration before the July 6 deadline, meaning that hearings will begin on July 20 and head into the month of August.
Among the restricted free agents to file are the Edmonton Oilers’ Denis Grebeshkov, Kyle Wellwood of the Vancouver Canucks and Montreal Canadien Tomas Plekanec. Nikolai Zherdev of the New York Rangers and Tuomo Ruutu of the Carolina Hurricanes are also among the big names to file for arbitration.
The process allows players to settle contract disputes with a mediator. Players and management both propose salary options and a hearing is given to decide what the salary will be. The third party arbitrator sets the salary on the basis of evidence provided at the hearing. It can be a very interesting process and it can also sometimes be a big blow to a player’s ego, especially if his team is arguing he deserves less money than he thinks he deserves.
In the case of Wellwood, he’ll almost certainly be arguing for more money. He made $998,000 last season with Vancouver, scoring 18 goals in the regular season and proving his toughness with a gutsy playoff performance. Whether the Canucks will want to or be able to sign him for more remains to be seen.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.