The Sports Daily > The 6th Sens
Headed for a Dogfight: Daugavins Files for Arbitration

According to several reports, Kaspars Daugavins has filed for salary arbitration.

Because of this decision, the 24 year old restricted free agent is no longer susceptible to offer sheets. (Aww shucks.)

For anyone who is unfamiliar with the arbitration process, it’s pretty straightforward. Having filed, the Senators and the player are permitted to negotiate a new deal in the days leading up to the arbitration hearing – usually such hearings take place in late July or early August. If there is no contract in place by the time of the hearing, Daugavins and the Senators will propose a salary for the player and the organization must elect whether the arbitrator’s judgment will be for a one or two-year contract. Each side will then proceed to argue their case and present evidence to some third party arbitrator. Article 12.9 (g)(ii) of the NHL CBA lists what can be presented as evidence and unfortunately for Daugavins, the density of one’s playoff mustache and the number of mustache rides given out do not qualify. At the conclusion of the hearing, the arbitrator must come to a decision within 48 hours.

When the arbitrator makes his decision, the Senators may have a few choices at their disposal. If the annual salary that Daugavins is awarded is greater than $1,042,173, the club can accept the contract or elect to ‘walk away’ from the contract – thereby making the player an unrestricted free agent. If the monetary salary is less than that aforementioned figure, the club has to accept the decision. (Note: This $1,042,173 monetary figure was the one that was outlined in the NHL CBA in 2005. Apparently, this figure is subject to an annual increase – starting at the beginning of the 2007/08 season — that is commensurate to the same percentage rate of increase as the Average League Salary. )

Without knowing what this figure truly is now, I’d like to believe that a fourth line player of Daugavins’ nature will not be aiming for that kind of money. Coming off a one-year, $600,000 contract, it’s likely that his representation will be pushing for a one-way contract that ensures that receives a NHL salary in the event of a demotion. One player who was recently awarded a similar contract in arbitration was the Vancouver Canucks’ Jannik Hansen. In 2010, he was awarded a one-way deal worth $825,000.

In accordance with Article 12.9 (n)(ii)(C), the arbitrator is permitted to include a Minor League clause (or clauses)  and the amount of Minor League Salary to be paid under each of the season(s) in respect to which the arbitration is requested.

While the Dogman was a constant Ottawa’s fourth line and penalty killing unit, the modest offensive talent that he has exhibited in junior and the AHL was never really demonstrated at the NHL level. His 5 goals and 11 points in 65 games were modest totals but unless he can usurp or injuries befall one of Ottawa’s third line players — Colin Greening, Peter Regin, Zack Smith or Chris Neil – it’s unlikely that he’ll ever be able to handsomely build upon those totals.

Like Bruce Garrioch mentioned last night on Twitter, much of this arbitration focus will settle on whether Ottawa is likely to bring back the player. I can’t envision Daugavins getting more than the required amount for Ottawa to walk away from the arbitrator’s decision, so barring a trade, one has to think that he will be back in some capacity since if the organization was truly fearful of a one-way contract, they would not have qualified him with an RFA offer.

In the event that Daugavins is not brought back into the fold however, his departure would clear some roster space and possibly allow for the organization to bring back a player like Jesse Winchester. (Or, as Scott is apt to suggest, they could sign Daniel Winnik.)

Foligno Signs in Columbus

The Blue Jackets have announced this morning that former Senator Nick Foligno has inked a new three-year deal worth $9.25 million. He’ll earn $2.5 million in 2012-13, $3 million in 2013-14 and $3.75 in 2014-15.

That’s a significant raise from the $1.2 million per season that he earned over the past two years considering that there wasn’t a corresponding jump in production. Ah well, it’s no longer Ottawa’s problem.

Sens In On Bobby Ryan?

In a rather speculative piece for the Ottawa Sun that carries a misleading headline, Bruce Garrioch articulates the point that many of us had discussed on the blog and in its comment threads. If Ottawa was interested and willing to move the necessary pieces to bring in a potentially past-his-prime player in Rick Nash, why wouldn’t the organization be interested in acquiring a younger player like Bobby Ryan who is still in the prime years of his career?