The NHLPA has released a list of 23 restricted free agents who have elected for salary arbitration this summer, with Nashville's Sergei Kostitsyn the lone Predator in the group. This is an expected move for an RFA like him who is coming off a strong season.
This doesn't really have an impact on the outstanding issue of offer sheets to Nashville's restricted free agents. If the Preds win the hearing on Friday and SK74 and the other Predators remain RFA's, Kostitsyn will have the option of agreeing to a contract at some point this summer, or going before an arbitrator to state his case for a raise. In player-elected arbitration, the team has the option of walking away from the contract if the award is too steep for their liking (that's how the Preds initially landed J.P. Dumont actually, after he won an arbitration case with Buffalo in 2006 - the Sabres declined to sign him, and he came to Nashville as a free agent).
If the NHLPA wins in that hearing, SK74 and the rest of the bunch could be immediately changed to unrestricted free agent status, rendering this salary arbitration issue moot, and allowing him to hit the open market.
#74 / Left Wing / Nashville Predators
Mar 20, 1987
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Basically, this is just SK74 protecting his negotiating position regardless of what happens on Friday. We all know he's going to get a big raise on his next deal, the only question is, how much?