Posted by: kristagolden | July 9, 2011

Your end-of-the-week news roundup

Fridays are notorious for being the day when innocuous stories are dumped in the papers because they figure no one pays attention. We here at AiP are nothing if not attentive, so I found a few gems for your attention:

The schedule for arbitration hearings was released today. For those who aren’t familiar with the term (which was me until earlier this week), arbitration happens when neither a restricted free agent player nor the team can agree to a contract. The player then files for a third party to intervene – the deadline is July 5th and he must have played at least four years – and awaits a hearing date. If they come to terms on a contract before the hearing, all is well and the hearing’s canceled. If not, the hearing goes on and the third party listens to evidence on both sides before setting the player’s salary. If the team doesn’t like the number, they can reject it, making the player an unrestricted free agent.

I see a few names that make me nervous – Chris Campoli and Viktor Stalberg specifically. I’d really like them to come back to the Hawks. Another interesting name: Blake Wheeler. This has both Emma and me hoping that the Jets snub the third party salary and make him UFA, because schadenfreude tastes like fresh Winnipeg snow.

Speaking of the Land That Heat Forgot, the Jets gained Eric Fehr from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Dannick Paquette and a fourth round pick in next year’s draft. The good news: Eric lives only an hour from the W city, so the drive won’t be so bad. The bad news: this trade is conditional – as long as he can pass a physical on Monday, he’s in. This may prove to tricky because he’s rehabbing from shoulder surgery, but he’s hopeful he can play for a “hometown” crowd. If he’s good to go, he may do well there, especially if he can get more ice time than he did in DC.

One final story related to today’s arbitration schedule: Sergei Kostitsyn avoided arbitration and signed a one year, $2.5 million deal with the Nashville Predators. His signing is actually part of a larger story in which the NHL Players’ Association had filed a grievance over Nashville’s qualifying offer to Sergei, saying it wasn’t filed correctly. I don’t know exactly what that means, but now that he’s signed, the matter’s settled.

The Florida Panthers introduced their new players today as well as showed off the new design for their jerseys. It’s interesting to note that Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky and Kris Versteeg are reunited with General Manager Dale Tallon, who was part of the Blackhawks organization when they won the Stanley Cup last year. Now that they’re back together, along with the other new guys, they feel confident that they’ll make a strong run for the Cup this fall. Of course, I fear for poor Dale after this admission:

“I fell off the wagon because of him,” quipped Tallon about Versteeg. “Sixteen years without a drink and he forced me to drink out of the Cup. Jack Daniels. It was pretty bad.” (Source)

I think Steeger should stick to rapping and hockey. What an enabler.


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