Every off-season, players head to arbitration with their clubs. The point of arbitration is that the player and their team can not agree to terms on a contract, so they meet with a judge who hears both sides and chooses a contract.
We have seen many players file for arbitration this off-season: Dan Sexton, Zach Parise, Andrew Cogliano, Lauri Korpikoski along with many others. All of these players ended up avoiding going to their hearing and they came to terms with their club.
Obviously it is the fair way to let a third party decide which contract is fair, but there are other reasons players file for arbitration.
Arbitration is a great way to avoid losing a top player when a contract can’t be decided upon. With all the things a GM must do in the off-season (new coach, free agents etc.), it is not always easy to re-sign all of your players before the deadline.
Zach Parise is one of the leagues elite scorers, and he is the heart of the Devils franchise.. The Devils no doubt want to lock him down to a long term contract. They filed for arbitration and they were able to sign him to a temporary one year contract. He was a restricted free agent, but that still gave them time to get something accomplished.
Brad Richards also avoided arbitration with the Kings, as well as Dan Sexton and Andrew Cogliano of our beloved Ducks.
Filing for arbitration gave the Ducks extra time to sign Sexton, who shows a promising future in the next few seasons. I guess you could call it a “loop hole” in the system, but it works!
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