Editorials

Islanders three players file for arbitration: What you need to know

Ryan Pulock #6 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Ryan Pulock #6 of the New York Islanders (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Don’t know what to expect with three New York Islanders players filing for arbitration? Here’s what you need to know.

On Saturday, three New York Islanders players filed for arbitration. Only four of the Isles RFAs had arbitration rights this year: Ryan Pulock, Devon Toews, Josh Ho-Sang, and Kyle Burroughs. Pulock, Toews, and Ho-Sang were the three to file for arbitration. Mathew Barzal doesn’t yet have the NHL experience to get arbitration rights.

Kyle Burroughs was traded to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday for forward AJ Greer.

Here’s what you need to know about salary arbitration.

What’s Arbitration?

For anyone who is new to the process of arbitration, its the practice by which a team and a player, who are at an impasse can appeal to an independent third-party to figure what the player should be paid.

Both sides present their case as to why the player should be paid a certain amount and the arbitrator will come to a decision on a one or two-year deal. That’s basically the process in a nutshell.

What Can Be Brought Up?

In building their case, players and teams can’t just start tossing out any sort of information about the player to prove their point. There’s only certain information that an arbitrator is allowed to hear. The NHL CBA is quite clear on what can (and can’t be) used in an arbitration case.

  • Official NHL stats
  • Number of games played
  • Previous injuries or illnesses
  • Length of service in the league or with the club
  • Contributions to the success or failure of the club
  • Special qualities (ie: leadership)
  • Performance of comparable players
  • Compensation of comparable players

(To read more about arbitration in the CBA see Article 12)

When Does it Begin?

Players had until October 10 at 5 pm to elect for salary arbitration. Teams get a second window to file for arbitration. That second window closes on October 11 at 5 pm.

An independent arbitrator will review cases from October 20 until November 8.

What Happens During the Hearings?

Players can still sign deals as they wait for their hearing dates. Most players don’t go through the full arbitration process. Of the 40 players that filed for arbitration last season, only six went through the full process. The other 34 players signed deals before they ever got in front of an independent arbitrator.

An added bonus here is that these players can’t sign an offer sheet with another team. Keeping negotiations strictly inhouse for the Islanders and two of their top three RFAs (Pulock and Toews).

What Happens After the Hearing?

The arbitrator has 48 hours to put come to a decision. Both sides can agree to the deal or they can both walk away from the deal. The player would then become an unrestricted free agent.

What to Expect?

I would imagine that a deal gets done between the Islanders and all three of their RFAs that filed for salary arbitration before it gets to a hearing. Just like in 2018 when Brock Nelson signed a one-year deal just before his scheduled hearing date.

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