Kevin Gravel was one of 30 players to elect for salary arbitration, the NHLPA announced on Wednesday. Salary arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto between July 20 and August 4, though it is more likely that Gravel and the team come to terms on a new contract before then.
The last King to elect arbitration was Dwight King, who was one of 20 players who filed on July 5, 2014. He ultimately signed a three-year, $5.85-million contract on July 30 of that year. In 2013, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, Jordan Nolan and Trevor Lewis filed for arbitration on July 10. Muzzin signed a two-year contract on July 12, Martinez signed a two-year contract on July 14, Nolan signed a two-year contract on July 19, and Lewis signed a one-year contract on July 23, all avoiding arbitration.
Last summer, 24 of the 25 arbitration cases settled before a hearing. Article 12.9 of the CBA describes the process in great depth, but basically, in the unlikely event that the two sides don’t reach a deal before their hearing, a player representative and a team representative meet in front of an arbitrator, who issues a binding one or two-year contract, with the length of the contract (either one or two years) determined by the team in player-elected arbitration and determined by the player in team-elected arbitration. It is generally not in either party’s interest to get to arbitration, which puts the team and player in an adversarial setting.
By no later than forty-eight (48) hours prior to the scheduled opening of the hearing (e.g., no later than 9:00 a.m. New York time on the second day prior to the hearing for a hearing scheduled for 9:00 a.m. New York time or 2:00 p.m. New York time on the second day prior to the hearing for a hearing scheduled for 2:00 p.m. New York time), the parties shall: (i) send their respective briefs to the Salary Arbitrator by email (unless otherwise requested by the Salary Arbitrator), and (ii) immediately thereafter, convene a telephone call during which they shall first, send their respective password protected briefs to each other by email, and second, upon receipt of the other party’s brief, exchange the passwords to such briefs. Such telephone call shall be completed no later than ten (10) minutes after the deadline set forth in this Section 12.9(b) for the parties sending their respective briefs to the Salary Arbitrator by email.
It’s always New York time.
Gravel, a 6-foot-4, 199-pound defenseman who turned 25 in March, totaled seven points (1-6=7), a plus-three rating and six penalty minutes in 49 games while averaging 14:09 of ice time in 2016-17. The former St. Cloud State Husky and 2015 Calder Cup champion has appeared in 54 career games with Los Angeles since his February 11, 2016 NHL debut.
RFAs other than Gravel who would have been eligible for arbitration are Nick Shore, Andrew Crescenzi, Michael Mersch, Paul LaDue and Jonny Brodzinski. Justin Auger, Zac Leslie and Kurtis MacDermid have not yet accrued enough pro years since signing their entry-level contracts to be eligible to file for arbitration. Teams are also able to file for arbitration with a player, though that happened once in the 2016 off-season when Detroit filed for arbitration with Petr Mrazek before signing him to a two-year contract in late July. The entire process is expertly explained at Cap Friendly, while Article 12 of the CBA (turn to page 57 in your handbooks, please) has the extensive particulars of both player-elected and club-elected arbitration. 5:00 p.m. ET on July 5 is the deadline for players to elect for arbitration, while arbitration hearings, in the absence of a new contract, will be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4, 2017.
The Kings currently have 20 players under contract (plus Matt Greene’s buyout, and Mike Richards’ cap recapture and termination penalty) for 2017-18 at a combined cap hit of $68.138, figures that include Adrian Kempe and Darcy Kuemper on the roster but not Jeff Zatkoff or the unsigned restricted free agents, based on financials provided by Cap Friendly. With approximately $6.862-million of remaining cap space, the Kings will look to construct a 23-man roster while also coming to terms with RFAs in Gravel, Nick Shore, Justin Auger, Andrew Crescenzi, Michael Mersch, Paul LaDue, Jonny Brodzinski, Zac Leslie and Kurtis MacDermid. Those requiring waivers to be assigned to the AHL are Campbell, Kuemper, Auger, Crescenzi, Mersch and MacDermid.
Players electing salary arbitration
Arizona Coyotes – Jordan Martinook
Boston Bruins – Ryan Spooner
Buffalo Sabres – Nathan Beaulieu, Johan Larsson, Robin Lehner
Calgary Flames – Micheal Ferland
Colorado Avalanche – Matt Nieto
Detroit Red Wings – Tomas Tatar
Edmonton Oilers – Joey LaLeggia
Los Angeles Kings – Kevin Gravel
Minnesota Wild – Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter
Montreal Canadiens – Alex Galchenyuk
Nashville Predators – Viktor Arvidsson, Marek Mazanec, Austin Watson
New York Islanders – Calvin de Haan
New York Rangers – Jesper Fast (player has since signed a new contract), Mika Zibanejad
Ottawa Senators – Ryan Dzingel , Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Pittsburgh Penguins – Brian Dumoulin, Conor Sheary
St. Louis Blues – Colton Parayko
Tampa Bay Lightning – Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat
Vancouver Canucks- Reid Boucher, Michael Chaput
Vegas Golden Knights – Nate Schmidt
Winnipeg Jets – Connor Hellebuyck