Dick Tarnstrom was one of 11 players to file for arbitration, but the only one who actually went. The other 10 came to agreement with their team before their scheduled hearing.
Arbitrators awarded the defenseman a one-year $1.6M contract, but the Penguins are not obligated to honor it. They may trade his rights or simply reject it, which would allow him to go on the UFA market. They have until Monday to make a decision.
Although it isn't clear who was asking for what, the $1.6M amounts to a 45% raise over his 2003-04 salary of $1.1M. Tarnstrom's agent called it "fair", and indicated that it was less than what he wanted but "well above" what the Pens offered.
Although the 30-year-old lead the Penguins in scoring in 2003-04 (16/36/52), there's one other statistic that should be in bold, italicized, underlined, supersized font. He was a -37 that season. The only player in the entirety of the NHL who had a worse +/- was his teammate Rico Fata, with a stunningly bad -46. Actually, the bottom three are all Pens. Defenseman Brooks Orpik(-36), Tarnstrom, and center/winger Fata. Just above them is the otherwise brilliant Rick Nash, who somehow managed to finish with a -35.
I know, I know. The Pens were weak offensively. But take a look at the Carolina Hurricanes. We were dead last in the Goals For category, but our worst +/- rating was a -14 for Ryan Bayda. The Pens, on the other hand had four players with a -30 or worse (the fourth was winger Konstantin Koltsov with a -30). What's going on up there?
5 years ago