7/22/10

Matt Moulson's Arbitration Hearing Preview

New York Islander Fan Central | 7/22/2010 03:55:00 PM
NHLPA: Released it's arbitration schedule, Matt Moulson if a contract cannot be worked out will have his hearing on 7/27.

NYIFC Comments:
A little unsettling seeing Buffalo walk-away from an arbitration award yesterday, sometimes teams in general set precedents that other teams follow, sometimes not.

Buffalo has had their own past arbitration trends under Darcy Regier.

Player negotiations under Garth Snow's tenure have been first class and out of the media, so far same pattern has held with Moulson, who was at the draft party, and who has been first class in interviews representing the franchise.

After all the supposed problems with Trent Hunter a few years ago, he signed quickly and quietly with both sides praising the other at the end of negotiations.

Brendan Witt when he was given an early extension, was surprised the team did not wait, but was very grateful at the time.

Having written this it's about business for both sides, who have to make the best deal for themselves, whether it be shorter or longer team.

For our purposes we have to leave out locker room impact, because as fans we are not part of that.

What Moulson's agent/representative will argue:
This player was tied for 19th in the NHL in scoring, with no high scoring veterans on his line, with twenty two goals at even strength, who had his share of game winning goals. That he also played all eighty two games, on a team that allowed many goals, had only a negative one rating.

It can also be argued pulling Moulson from Tavares line took him off what was a ninety point pace.

No doubt players making more money/similar production/AHL players with similar breakthroughs will be used as a comparative, including the teams improvement in the standings.

What the Islanders will argue through attorney/representative or Garth Snow, who will not make anyone cry:

Mike Milbury did represent the club for Garth Snow in his first days as general manager at an arbitration hearing, but supposedly did not speak.

You can bet the Islander reps are going to argue comparative players who had thirty goals like former waiver wire fodder, Jussi Jokinen and their salary. That the team wants to see more production in the assist department. I'm not sure where else the club can go in the negative department beyond signing him and giving him an opportunity unless they want to make the point Moulson was paired with a franchise prospect which is why he did so well.

Outcome:
Make no mistake, Snow and the Islanders are at a disadvantage given his production on such a young team. Plus if a one year deal is awarded and Moulson hits UFA next summer, he may well remember the downside of this meeting so things have to be handled very carefully.

Also anyone who watched the games (not hockey arbitrators) may not understand all of Moulson's deflection goals vs quality setups for slam dunk, open-net goals.

Bottom line, Moulson will get a healthy raise. I expect the Islanders to accept the award.

Now that I have written this, no doubt by tonight we will get an announcement of a contract extension with Moulson.

Which suits me fine.


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