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

Friday, August 19, 2005

It's getting ugly in Ottawa

It must be frustrating to be a Senators fan right about now.

First, you have Marian Hossa filing for arbitration.
I've written about this here and also here. I've said that Hossa is underpaid and deserves more. Now I'm not so sure. I've said that his numbers make a compelling case for him to get Iggy/Thornton type salary. Despite his point production, though, Sens management doesn't see fit to reward him with even an "A" on the sweater. Nor do they see fit to reward him with a better salary. I don't know what it is, but there's something that they don't like about him.
The Sens have stood by their resolve that Daniel Alfredsson will be their highest paid player at $4.66M. They have made two offers to Hossa in the neighborhood of $4M/year(3-year/$11.9M, 2-year/$8M), which were both refused. He wants what he thinks is fair, and what he thinks is "fair" is $7M. He's been watching players with very similar numbers sign huge contracts (Iggy -- 3-year/$21M; Thornton -- 3 year/$20M; Lecavalier -- 4 year/$25.7M), and wants in on that. The Sens will argue that Hossa should be held in the same light as Milan Hejduk, who has similar numbers and just signed with The Avs for $3.7M.
According to this article in the Sun, NHL sources are suggesting that Hossa will lose this arbitration battle, which begins next Tuesday, and will be awarded $3.7-$4M. If this is the case, maid Marian will be very unhappy, and may start to play like a bitter player, just waiting to be traded. If he wins the arbitration, the Sens can't afford it. Either way, it seems like a no-win situation for Ottawa.
I've already beaten the Hossa/Iggy/Thornton numbers to death, but let's take one more look at his numbers, and this time, just for argument's sake, we'll compare them to those of Milan Hejduk and Pavol Demitra, both of whom have contracts roughly in the $4M range.

RW MARIAN HOSSA, Ottawa. age 26. (offer of 3 years/$11.9M refused)
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

C/RW PAVOL DEMITRA, Los Angeles (formerly of St. Louis) age 30 (3 years/$13.5M)
2000-01 44GP...20G...25A...45TP...+27...16PIM
2001-02 82GP...35G...43A...78TP...+13...46PIM
2002-03 78GP...36G...57A...93TP....0....32PIM
2003-04 68GP...23G...35A...58TP....+1...18PIM

RW MILAN HEJDUK, Colorado. age 29 (5 years/$19.5M)
2000-01 80GP...41G...38A...79TP...+32...36PIM
2001-02 62GP...21G...23A...44TP....0....24PIM
2002-03 82GP...50G...48A...98TP...+52...32PIM
2003-04 82GP...35G...40A...75TP...+19...20PIM

There's an equally compelling argument using those stats. Look at Hejduk's +/-, by the way. !!!!! In 2002-03, he was the Rocket Richard winner and he shared the Bud Light Plus/Minus Award with teammate Peter Forsberg.
Hejduk and Demitra aren't whining for Iggy-type money, and maybe, in view of this argument, neither should Hossa.

Then, after all that, you have all the rumors about defenseman Wade Redden being on the trading block. According to many blogosphere and message board rumors, Redden is being aggressively marketed. However, according to this article in the Ottawa Sun, those rumors are completely false, and "stupid". He and fellow D-man Zdeno Chara are set to be UFAs next summer, and the club is trying to avoid that by getting both to sign to multi-year contract renewals.
This one shouldn't be a problem at all. The Hossa situation, though.... that may be ugly.

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