With the signings of Jaden Schwartz, Alex Killorn, and Dylan McIlrath, this week’s NHL arbitration calendar was slashed in half. Still scheduled, however, are Marcus Johansson (who’s case we profiled here), Chris Kreider, and Mikhail Grigorenko. Johansson’s hearing is on Wednesday July 20th, and both Kreider and Grigorenko have hearings on Friday July 22nd.
Players and teams have up until 48 hours before the hearing date to submit their argument briefs, and that is usually when we hear each sides’ salary demand. Kreider made $2.475MM on his last RFA contract, and will be looking for a significant raise after two straight twenty goal seasons. Kreider is a central cog to the Rangers offense, and while he is currently penciled in as the number 2 LW, the possibility of Rick Nash losing a step becomes more real with each passing season. The Rangers have over $11MM in cap space after their offseason moves, so they should be able to afford whatever the arbitrator decides.
Grigorenko’s case is less straightforward. The Russian forward potted 6G and 21A with Colorado last year, but has not lived up to his hype after being drafted 12th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 2012. Grigorenko’s previous contract paid him only $625K last season, and he does deserve a raise. How much of a raise, however, is left for the arbitrator to decide. Grigorenko’s representation will have to find a way to parlay potential into dollars while the Avalanche will point to Grigorenko’s current and past production.