One of the NHL’s goaltending heroes is headed for arbitration and another may find himself on the same route Tuesday.
Chicago Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi was one of 31 players who filed for arbitration Monday and will likely be joined by St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak Tuesday when the Blues will have the opportunity to take Halak to arbitration.
Both are restricted free agents and arbitration, while sometimes a nasty and confrontational process, guarantees they will be under contract next season. Players can elect to go to arbitration and if they don’t, the team can elect to take a player to arbitration.
Niemi is not the only high-profile player who will go to arbitration this summer, nor is he the only Stanley Cup champion. Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd, who won the Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks before being traded to the Atlanta Thrashers, also filed.
Calgary Flames defenseman Ian White, New York Islanders winger Matt Moulson, New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi, Philadelphia Flyers winger Dan Carcillo, Vancouver Canucks winger Mason Raymond, and wingers Eric Fehr and Tomas Fleischmann and defenseman Jeff Schultz, all of the Washington Capitals, also filed.
Arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto between July 20 and Aug. 4. Both sides can continue negotiating until the hearing and even until the arbitration award is announced and it’s expected that only a handful of cases will actually end up being heard.
Below is the full list of players who elected for arbitration:
Columbus Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings
Los Angeles Kings
New Jersey Devils
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
St. Louis Blues
Tampa Bay Lightning