Feb. 26, 2012: Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Kris Versteeg (32) slides into the boards during the second period against the Montreal Canadiens at the BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
In arbitration, both the player and team propose a salary for the coming season. Each side states their respective cases to an arbitrator - a neutral third party - who decides the player's salary for the upcoming season. Both sides can negotiate a deal with each other up to the date of the hearing, in hopes of avoiding the process; existing rules state that a player cannot receive less than 85% of his previous salary. Within 48 hours of the ruling a decision must be made by the team to either sign the player or walk away, making him an unrestricted free agent.
So how much are both players - one heading to arbitration while the other deals through his agent - worth? Take a look after the jump...
Let's begin with Dmitry Kulikov:
Kulikov - avoiding arbitration after the final season of a three-year entry-level contract - missed 24 games in 2011-12, but still put up the best numbers of his short career. Using the 3-1-1 rule (three goals equals one point in the standings, which equals one million dollars) Kulikov was worth $2.37 million last season. Over the his career, Kulikov has been worth $4.93 million (if you combine all three seasons GVT and divide by three); due to Kulikov's age and short time spent in the league, it's hard to find a real value, so to play it safe, I'll say Kulikov is worth $3 million. Using the 3-1-1 rule, Kulikov will only need to have a GVT of 7.5 to worth his cap hit, an increase of 0.4.
Hockey Reference defenseman comparisons:
- Jamie McBain, Carolina Hurricanes (2 years, $3.6 Mil)
- Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning (5 years, $20.0 Mil)
- Ryan Wilson, Colorado Avalanche (3 years, $6.75 Mil)
Unlike Kulikov, Versteeg has more playing time in the NHL, making it easier find out how much he's realistically worth. Versteeg scored a career high 54 points in his first season with the Panthers while garnering a salary of $3.07 million, which is right on his cap hit of $3.08 million. Since forwards usually peak around their mid-twenties, and overall worth being $12.13 million over his career, a cap hit of $3.8 million would be a safe bet. He'll only need a GVT of 9.9 to justify it (a 0.5 increase). Versteeg's hearing is scheduled for July 23.
Hockey Reference forward comparisons: