New York Islanders restricted free agent Brock Nelson has filed for arbitration. What could an arbitrator possibly think that Brock Nelson is worth?
On July 5th, Brock Nelson filed for arbitration with the NHL. The RFA is out of a contract and the New York Islanders have yet to offer him a deal. So in accordance with the CBA, Brock was allowed to file to get a third party to establish his contract.
Arbitration isn’t pleasant for players. They have to sit and plead their case as to why they are worth a certain amount of money and then they have to listen to their team explain the exact opposite.
Hearing your GM explain the flaws in your game or even the perceived flaws in your game with the ultimate goal of getting a single year deal to stay on that very same team can’t be good.
Now it doesn’t mean that Brock
to go through the arbitration process. The team can still offer him a deal up to the eleventh hour. So long as the arbitrator hasn’t already given his decision the team and Brock can agree on a new deal.
The best way to figure out what Brock Nelson could be worth is to figure out what similar players are worth. What do players who produce as much as Brock Nelson, at his position, make?
Before we do that we have to figure out what Brock Nelson is. He’s a 26-year-old center who scored an average of 41 points per season over the last four years.
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There are two relatively good comparables in the league right now. Ryan Strome and Lars Eller. Both just received new contracts from their respective teams. Both are centers, they’re between the ages of 24 and 29, and they produce about as much as Nelson.
To be fair, Nelson has produced more on average over the last four years than both. Ryan Strome averaged 33 points while Eller averaged 29 to Brock’s 41 points. But all three face the same criticism; they’re all inconsistent.
Eller, after helping the Washington Capitals win their first Stanley Cup was awarded with a five-year $17.5 million contract ($3.5 million AAV). While Strome received a two-year $6.2 million deal ($3.1 million AAV) from the Edmonton Oilers.
In terms of the cap hit for his deal, Brock Nelson should slot somewhere between both of those deals. Ideally, a $3 million AAV would be great but based on Brock’s higher production he’s going to get more. When it comes to the length though, Brock Nelson shouldn’t receive any longer than three years.
There’s no reason to give Brock Nelson a long-term deal. He’s an up and down player who might disappear for a few months. The advantage of the three-year deal is you have a player who can score 20 goals for less than with term to give up in a trade. A team is going to want that.
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I’d give him a three-year $10 million deal ($3.333 million AAV). With a three-year deal, Brock gets a few years of stability. But it also makes him valuable in a trade. He gets an $833,333 raise per season after a down year. And then the Isles get some cap certainty as they look towards 2018-19.