A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


When yesterday's deadline for players to file for salary arbitration came, there were only 11 players who stepped forward, which is much lower than expected.

The most notable player on that list is 26-year old Marian Hossa of the Ottawa Senators (story)
The smart money is on Hossa to win the arbitration hearing. The Sens have offered him a three-year, $11.9M deal, which he has rejected. He believes that he should be compensated the same way that Jarome Iginla. Iggy just inked a deal for three years and $21M.
Hossa's last four seasons have been quite spectacular. Way more impressive than I had remembered:

2000-01 81GP...32G...43A...75TP...+19...44PIM
2001-02 80GP...31G...35A...66TP...+11...50PIM
2002-03 80GP...45G...35A...80TP...+8....34PIM
2003-04 81GP...36G...46A...82TP...+4....46PIM

Compare those regular season numbers to those of Iggy over the same period of time...

2000-01 77GP...31G...40A...71TP...-2....62PIM
2001-02 82GP...52G...44A...96TP...+27...77PIM
2002-03 75GP...35G...32A...67TP...-10...49PIM
2003-04 81GP...41G...32A...73TP...+21...84PIM

Those numbers are pretty similar. In fact, it's a difference of only four points. So why should Iggy get paid so much more? Hossa has a point, and he will win the arbitration hearing. From a pure numbers standpoint, there's no doubt. Of course people will say that Iggy has more leadership qualities and other stuff that doesn't show up in the box score, but it's hard to argue with the offensive production. Problem is, Ottawa can't afford to pay him. Expect to see a trade involving multiple players to the Sens and Hossa somewhere else. I can't speculate about who the trading partner would be, but at this point it seems unlikely that the Sens will pay him an Iggy-like salary.

On the 'Canes front, winger Erik Cole made news this morning by expressing doubts about his future with the Canes. In this article from today's News & Observer, Cole (who did not file for arbitration) is quoted as saying:
"Obviously, my wife and I would prefer to stay in Raleigh... We love the area, we love the fans and it's a great place to be and a great place to play. At the same time, you want to make sure the organization is headed in the right direction and you're going to be treated like they want you there."

Wow. I'm not sure where he's been getting his information, but the last time I checked, he's one of the favorites around here, and to my knowledge, the organization has never given him anything but positive reinforcement. The Canes are offering him $1.1M, which he hasn't accepted yet. This is a key guy who we really need to retain. I hope it doesn't get ugly.

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