Latest NHL Arbitration News – July 21, 2014

Five interesting upcoming NHL arbitration cases, including Vladimir Sobotka, Ryan O’Reilly and James Reimer. 

Chris Kreider among several NHL players facing arbitration hearings this week.

Chris Kreider among several NHL players facing arbitration hearings this week.

NHLPA: NHL salary arbitration hearings are set to begin this week in Toronto. Two hearings slated for today are Toronto’s Cody Franson and St. Louis’ Vladimir Sobotka. Dallas’ Antoine Roussel’s hearing will be held on July 22. Colorado’s Ryan O’Reilly’s and New York Rangers’ Chris Kreider’s respective hearings are slated for Wednesday, July 23.  Montreal’s Lars Eller and the Rangers’ Mats Zuccarello have hearings slated for Friday, July 25.

USA TODAY: Mike Brehm lists five interesting arbitration cases, including those for Sobotka, O’Reilly, Kreider and Zuccarello.  With Sobotka having jumped to the KHL for next season, his hearing today will determine how much he’ll receive if he returns from Russia. James Reimer (July 28) was earning $1.6 million last season with a cap hit of $1.8 million. Brehm noted Montreal’s P.K. Subban is the most prominent defenseman to hit arbitration since Nashville’s Shea Weber in 2011.

STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford believes Sobotka’s hearing today could determine if he ever wears a Blues uniform again, as he could decide not to return to the NHL unless the Blues trade him. Sobotka’s agent claims his client recently asked to be traded when an agreement couldn’t be reached on a new contract before he signed with the KHL. In a recent interview with a Czech sports website, Sobotka said his plan is to play a season in the KHL and return to the NHL with a different team. He claimed he had no choice but to sign with Avangard Omsk because the Blues refused to trade him. The Blues best offer was a one-year, $2.7 million contract. Sobotka sought a one-year deal worth $3 million, after which he’d become an unrestricted free agent. The club also made a two-year, $6 million offer but it wasn’t accepted. Sobotka’s three-year KHL contract pays him slightly more than $4 million per season, and continues an “out clause” at the end of each season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In recent years most players re-sign with their respective teams before their arbitration hearings.  Of the 23 players scheduled for arbitration hearings this year, six have already reached agreements on new contracts with their teams. It will be interesting to see how many more do so.

Sounds like Sobotka’s relationship with Blues management has been seriously damaged.  Franson and the Leafs  are reportedly $2 million apart in salary. O’Reilly almost certainly seems to be heading to arbitration on Wednesday. I believe the Canadiens will re-sign Subban and Eller before their arbitration hearings. Ditto the Rangers with Kreider, Zuccarello and Derick Brassard. 


  1. Sobotka would look great in a Sabres uniform.

    • +1

    • No one looks good in a Sabres uniform. LOL. JK

      • Better now that they got rid of that slug Buffalo head logo thingy…those were the worst.

  2. If those numbers are right about Sobotka then I say good riddance. He was only $300,000 apart from his demands and he still runs away, despite getting the term he wanted. He has played for like half a dozen seasons and only one of them has he eclipsed 30 points. He was fortunate to be offered a two-year contract – something a lot of other players in his class would love to get.

    • Blues fan here who agrees, if he really thinks the Blues didnt “respect” him then he can pretty much go screw himself. He played 16 minutes a game this year only producing 30 points. He was given a larger role than he deserved and still isnt happy? Despite being a talented player that is not an efficient use of minutes, he was offered north of 3 mil this offseason and didnt want it? Have fun in the KHL, buddy! See ya never!

      • @Frank
        He wasn’t offered anything north of $3 million. He was a good piece to have in the fold. Many teams would have gladly taken him and gave him the money.

        To be so close and the team to play hard ball with him is really surprising. Then to be refused to be traded? Sounds like someone was/is trying to be a real jerk to the guy.
        If the Blues really wanted him I wonder why they didn’t offer to split the difference and add $150k to their offer on the one year deal. It would be worth the risk to see if he can repeat his production this year.
        Seams rather short sighted to tell him to get lost.

        • BTW: Frattin just signed for $3.3 for one year and his numbers are worse. So, the dumping of Vladimir Sobotka is a mystery.

          • That was Franson, not Frattin…3.3 would be shocking for Frattin :-). Can’t compare d productivity to a forward.

          • Frattin? Don’t you mean Franson?

        • Armstrong himself was quoted saying that in June he offered Sobotka a multi-year deal north of 3 mil, yet Sobotka was not interested. Apparently the Blues feel okay with their Centers at the moment, the signing of Stasny and Lehtera (though who knows if he is even a top 9 player, probably not) and resigning of Ott tells me they felt perfectly comfortable with out a undersized scrappy player who’s one main skill is his ability in the face-off circle. They still need to sign Jaden Schwartz as well, that is #1 priority now.

          • How much does Sobs think a 3th line centre is worth, anyway? Seems to be a very fair offer by StL.

  3. I think the Rangers will lock up Zuccarello and let the hearings proceed with Kreider and especially Brassard.

    • I think Sather will get at least 2 of them done, and maybe let Brassard go to hearing. My gut tells me he gets all 3 done. I’m sure I’m missing someone, but the last arbitration I remember clearly in NY was Sean Avery.

  4. Sobotka and Ian Cole for Franson and Lupul

    • Franson just re-upped with the Leafs. One season for $3.3 million. That’s probably right in the middle between the offers.

    • I still like Franson for Kindl.

      • I would do franson for kindl, where to we sign?

      • I second that shticky. I would want a pick coming back to Toronto along with him but still. I believe franson does have more value. The leafs need to do something that’s for sure.

        • Sounds reasonable. Conditional pick depending on if Franson re-signs there

          • 3rd in 2016 if he resigns, if not a 4th in 2016

  5. Makes sense for franson. His plus minus was awful last year, but the entire team was defensively inept last season. With the changes the leafs have made, another -20 season should be avoidable. But all and all this was a decent job by franson and the leafs to get something done that makes sense on both sides.

    • Ehh when you look at other deals made so far this year I agree its good for both sides