The NHLPA released a list of 21 restricted free agents who filed for salary arbitration with their teams, and this summer Nick Spaling is the lone Nashville Predator heading down that road. He just completed a 2-year contract at just over $1 million per season.
|2012 - Nick Spaling||47||9||4||13||-10||18||1||0||2||57||15.7|
|Season||GP||TOI/60||Pts/60||Corsi Rel||On-Ice Sht %||On-Ice Sv%||PDO||Pen Take||Pen Drawn||OZ Strt%||Shots/60|
Hearings will be held from July 22 to August 6th, and a deal can still be struck between a player and team right up until the arbitration hearing takes place and the decision is announced, so it's very common that such contracts will be agreed to in the late hours leading up to the appointed arbitration time.
Spaling is trying to build off his best goal-scoring season to date, with 9 in 47 games as opposed to his previous best of 10 in 77 games in 2011-2012. That said, the four free agent forwards signed on July 5 have made the competition for ice time in Nashville increasingly difficult for players like Spaling, so it remains to be seen if the Preds still view him as a part of their future.
Working in Spaling's favor is his ability to play on the wing or at center, and fill a leading role on the penalty kill. Will his versatility allow him to hold onto his position in Nashville? That will be one of the stories to follow during training camp assuming he's still with the team...