top of page
  • Writer's pictureRyan Lake

Inside NHL Salary Arbitration And The 40 Players Who Have Filed

July is one of the most critical months on the calendar for NHL players, agents and GMs. July 1 rings in a new league year and the opening of free agency. This year the NHL saw 125 unrestricted free agent players sign for a total of $700 million on July 1 alone.

While July 1 gets the headlines, an equally important date in July often gets overlooked.

July 5, the filing date for salary arbitration, has proven to be an important date for any club looking to sign its best players. This summer, 40 players elected to have an arbitrator decide their salary for the 2019-20 season.

Salary arbitration is a powerful tool for both the players and the GMs. An arbitration-eligible player can elect to take his club to arbitration. A player will do this if he does not believe the club is offering fair market value for his services. A GM can also use the arbitration process and bring a player to an arbitration hearing. GMs often use salary arbitration when negotiations between the two sides have stalled. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes” content_placement=”middle”][vc_column][vc_column_text]This year, 40 players have elected to file for arbitration. As of July 24, 29 of the 40 players have settled and signed new contracts. Typically, only three or four players each year go all the way through the arbitration process.

So far this year, two players, Christian Djoos of the Washington Capitals and Andrew Copp of the Winnipeg Jets, have completed the arbitration process and were awarded new contracts. Djoos was awarded a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. This is an increase in salary by $600,000.

Copp was awarded a two year contract worth $4.56 million, an AAV of $2.28 million. This is an increase in annual salary of $1.28 million.

To qualify for the arbitration process, a player must meet the criteria outlined in the chart below and be a restricted free agent:

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) details the number of games a player must play in a particular season to accrue a year of professional experience. According to the CBA:

“A player aged 18 or 19 earns a year of professional experience by playing ten (10) or more NHL games in a given season. A player aged 20 or older (or who turns 20 between September 16th and December 31st of the calendar year in which he signs his first standard player contract) earns a year of professional experience by playing ten (10) or more Professional Games under a standard player contract in a given season.”

Once a hearing is underway the club, and the player will argue to an independent arbitrator to determine how much the player should make for the following season. During the hearing, the parties are allowed to present evidence on the following:

a.           The overall performance, including National Hockey League official statistics, of the player; (For more information on the official statistics look at Why Enhanced Statistics Are a Game Changer for NHL Contract Negotiations);

b.          The number of games played by the player, and his injuries or illnesses during the preceding seasons;

c.           The length of service of the player in the League and/or with the club;

d.          The overall contribution of the player to the competitive success or failure of his club in the preceding season;

e.          Any special qualities of leadership or public appeal;

f.            The overall performance in the previous season or seasons of any player who is alleged to be comparable to the party player whose salary is in dispute; and

g.           The compensation of any player who is alleged to be comparable to the player.

The following evidence is not admissible:

a.           Any Standard Player Contract the term of which began when the player to such Standard Player Contract was not a Group 2 player;

b.          Any Standard Player Contract entered into by an Unrestricted Free Agent;

c.           The Standard Player Contract of any player who is not being offered as a comparable player to the player;

d.          Qualifying Offers made by the club;

e.          Any prior offers or history of negotiations between the player and the club;

f.            Testimonials, videotapes, newspaper columns, press game reports or similar materials;

g.           Any reference to actual or potential walk away rights;

h.          Any award issued by a Salary Arbitrator which a club exercised its walk-away rights;

i.            The financial condition of the club or the League;

j.            References to a club’s Upper or Lower Limit, or to the players’ Share;

k.           Any salary arbitration award issued in 2005-2006; or

l.            Any reference to any salary or other compensation information in any salary arbitration opinion that took place prior to July 22nd, 2005.

Once the hearing is completed, the arbitrator has 48 hours to issue a written decision. The club and player can either enter into a contract for the amount determined by the arbitrator, or they can walk away, and the player will become an unrestricted free agent.

The salary arbitration process is a powerful tool for both parties and ultimately helps resolved salary disputes and award a fair salary based on the players’ past performance compared to other players in the league. 2019 has proven to be the year of the restricted free agents, and the arbitration process has reflected that with 40 players filing. It will be interesting to see how many more players actually make it to a hearing and have an award issued.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”6284″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Players who filed for Salary Arbitration:


  1. Chase De Leo

  2. Settled: One-year, two-way deal worth $750,000.


  1. Danton Heinen

  2. Settled: two-year, $5.6-million.


  1. Remi Elie

  2. Arbitration hearing date: August 1st

  3. 2018-19 salary: $735,000

  4. Jake McCabe

  5. Arbitration hearing date: August 4th

  6. 2018-19 salary: $1.6-million

  7. Evan Rodrigues

  8. Team offered: $1.5 million; Player requested: $2.65 million

  9. Arbitration hearing date: July 23rd

  10. 2018-19 salary: $650,000

  11. Linus Ullmark

  12. Arbitration hearing date: August 2nd

  13. 2018-19 salary: $750,000


  1. Sam Bennett

  2. Arbitration hearing date: July 27th

  3. 2018-19 salary: $1.95 million

  4. Ryan Lomberg

  5. Settled: one-year, two-way deal worth $700,000 on July 16th.

  6. David Rittich

  7. Arbitration hearing date: July 29th

  8. 2018-19 salary: $800,000

  9. Rinat Valiev

  10. Settled: one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000 on July 16th.


  1. Anton Forsberg

  2. Arbitration hearing date: August 4th

  3. 2018-19 salary: $750,000

  4. Brock McGinn

  5. Team offered: $1.75 million AAV; Player requested: $2.7 million AAV

  6. Settled: Two years, $4.2MM


  1. J. T. Compher

  2. Settled: four-year, $14-million deal on July 17th.

  3. Sheldon Dries

  4. Arbitration hearing date: August 4th

  5. 2018-19 salary: $925,000

  6. Ryan Graves

  7. Settled: One-year pact worth $735,000 on July 8th.


  1. Jason Dickinson

  2. Settled: Two-year, $3 million contract on July 11th.


  1. MacKenzie Weegar

  2. Settled: One-year, $1.6-million AAV

  3. 2018-19 salary: $900,000


  1. Alex Iafallo

  2. Settled: Two-year, $4.85-million contract on July 10th.


  1. Joel Armia

  2. Settled: Two-year, $5.2-million deal on July 11th.

  3. Charles Hudon

  4. Settled: One-year, $800,000 on July 19th.

  5. Artturi Lehkonen

  6. Settled: Two-year, $4.8-million on July 11th.


  1. Rocco Grimaldi

  2. Arbitration hearing date: August 4th

  3. 2018-19 salary: $650,000

  4. Colton Sissons

  5. Settled: 7 Year deal worth $2.86 million AAV

  6. 2018-19 salary: $625,000


  1. Will Butcher

  2. Arbitration hearing date: August 2nd

  3. 2018-19 salary: $925,000

  4. Connor Carrick

  5. Settled: Two-year, $1.5 million AAV on July 16th.

  6. Mirco Mueller

  7. Settled: One year, $1.4 million


  1. Pavel Buchnevich

  2. Arbitration hearing date: July 29th

  3. 2018-19 salary: $925,000

  4. Jacob Trouba

  5. Settled: 7-year, $56 million deal on July 19th.


  1. Scott Laughton

  2. Settled: Two-year, $4.6-million deal on July 12th.


  1. Zach Aston-Reese

  2. Settled: Two years, $1.0 million AAV


  1. Jordan Binnington

  2. Settled: Two-year, $8.8-million deal on July 13th.

  3. Joel Edmundson

  4. Arbitration hearing date: August 4th

  5. 2018-19 salary: $3 million

  6. Ville Husso (team-elected)

  7. Settled: One year, two-way, $700K AAV

  8. Zachary Sanford

  9. Settled: Two-year deal with an AAV of $1.5 million on July 8th.

  10. Oskar Sundqvist

  11. Settled: Four years, $2.75 million AAV


  1. Cedric Paquette

  2. Settled: Two-year deal $1.65 million AAV


  1. Malcolm Subban

  2. Settled: One-year deal on July 9th worth $850,000.


  1. Christian Djoos

  2. Awarded: One-year, $1.25 million.

  3. 2018-19 salary: $650,000

  4. Chandler Stephenson

  5. Arbitration hearing date: August 1st

  6. 2018-19 salary: $650,000


  1. Andrew Copp

  2. Team Offered: $1.5 million AAV, Player Requested: $2.9 million AAV

  3. Awarded: Two-year, $4.56 million, $2.28 million AAV

  4. 2018-19 salary: $1 million

  5. Neal Pionk

  6. Settled: Two years, $3.0 million [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page