The Calgary Flames and defenseman Brett Kulak exchanged figures for their upcoming arbitration hearing on Monday with the Calgary Flames taking a hard line as they asked for the minimum salary of $650K and a two-way deal. Kulak has asked for $1.15MM, according to Elliotte Friedman.
The Flames, who just put Kulak on waivers on Thursday and subsequently cleared on Friday, want to show the value of the 24-year-old blueliner. Kulak played in 71 games last season, the most of his career (21 games was his highest previously), but averaged just 12:59 of ATOI as a bottom-pair defenseman. The Flames, who are looking to keep as much versatility and depth on their defensive roster, would prefer it if they can move him freely between Calgary and the Stockton Heat of the AHL as the team has a number of talented younger defensemen, who might not make the team out of training camp, but could be ready soon, including 2017 first-round pick Juuso Valimaki, Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington and Josh Healey.
Kulak is looking for a one-way deal and hopes to land a bigger role on the defense, but could find himself out of the rotation as the team already has Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, Travis Hamonic, Michael Stone and Dalton Prout locked up, while they also have restricted free agent Noah Hanifin still to sign, which could make Kulak the team’s seventh defenseman or out of he rotation entirely.
Regardless of the numbers, both teams can continue to negotiate up until the arbitrator reaches a decision.