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Arbitration benefits both player and team

Why filing for arbitration is the opposite of a bad thing.

Winnipeg Jets v Toronto Maple Leafs

With Connor Hellebuyck filing for arbitration the Winnipeg Jets have the potential to have an arbitration hearing. Fear not though as arbitration is a fairly team-friendly process.

With the exception of binding arbitration where NHL teams have to retain a player if the award is under $4,084,219 the team can walk away from a decision. The team can also decide how long the contract is for if it is player-elected arbitration. Furthermore, by filing for arbitration or having arbitration filed against a player, a team protects that player from potential offersheets. These are all team-friendly moves.

When it comes to the threshold to walk away from an award, that is also a player-friendly move since it forces teams to keep lower paid players who they might otherwise walk away from. It allows for players who might not be receive a one-way contract to get one. It might be the most player-friendly part of the arbitration process.

Arbitration is a nasty process for both player and team to go through. There are stats used to make the player seem worse than they are because teams do not want to use up more salary cap space than needed. That said, it is a mutually beneficial system if only because it forces negotiations to have a deadline and allows for all parties to reach a deal that they are both satisfied with to some degree.

The NHL has an arbitration system which is generally fair and protects more marginal NHL players as well as teams allowing teams to protect restricted free agents from offersheets amongst other benefits for them.