The New York Rangers had four RFA’s who filed for arbitration prior to Thursday’s 5:00 p.m. ET deadline on Thursday.
Center Kevin Hayes, forward Jimmy Vesey, center Ryan Spooner and defenseman Brady Skjei all chose to file for arbitration. Salary Arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to Aug. 4, 2018.
Salary arbitration is a contract negotiation method that uses a third-party arbitrator to determine a fair contract term and length for an expiring RFA player.
The two sides can continue contract negotiations up until the arbitration hearings are set to begin on each players individual day. It is unlikely any of these players will reach the arbitration hearing, but should they get to that process a third party arbiter will hear the cases from both sides and make a ruling on either one or two-year deals.
The Rangers have been pretty lucky in regards to arbitration hearings. No player who has filed for arbitration has actually made it to the hearing process since 2007 when both Sean Avery and Nikolay Zherdev needed hearings.
All the players who filed could be traded and that’s where Kevin Hayes’s situation could complicate things.
Hayes will probably be looking to get a deal in the $6 million range, annually. Trading the 25-goal scorer of last season would help the Blueshirts avoid such a big contract
The Rangers will probably try to lock up defenseman Brady Skjei on a long-term deal and possibly offer Vesey a shorter deal in hope of avoiding an arbiter’s decision. Ryan Spooner, acquired in the Rick Nash trade last February, could be added in a trade prior to his hearing.
Now that the four have filed for arbitration, they are considered under contract by the New York Rangers and cannot receive an offer sheet from any other team.