Monday, July 23, 2007

Brooks Liach Arbitration

Today kicked off the beginning of the 2007 Arbitration Hearings, with the Washington Capitals and Brooks Liach on the top of the list. A restricted free agent may file for arbitration if negotiations between the player and the team holding their rights reach a stalemate. This off-season 30 players filed for arbitration on July 5th, 11 of those cases have since negotiated a new agreement.

In front of the Salary Arbitrator each side makes their case, with a great deal of attention paid to statistics and the compensation of other players with similar statistics and history. Within 24 hours the Arbitrator will fax the decision to both parties, and the team has 48 hours in which they must decide to agree or "walk" from the decision. If the team elects to walk from a decision the player becomes a Unrestricted Free Agent.

Brooks Liach
Year
Team
GP
G
A
Pts
2003-04
OTT
1
0
0
0

WAS
4
0
1
1
2005-06
WAS
73
7
14
21
2006-07
WAS
73
8
10
18
Career

151
15
25
40

Brooks Liach was drafted in the 6th round of the 2001 draft by the Ottawa Senators, and made his first appearance in the NHL during the 2003-04 season. It was post lock-out that Liach made an extended showing in the NHL. At 24 years old, with 151 NHL games under his belt, Brooks has accumulated 40 pts.

At the hearing the Liach camp may point to the Columbus Blue Jacket's recent resigning of 24 year old Alexander Svitov, who went for $2.25 over 2 years, to set the benchmark.

Alexander Svitov

Team
GP
G
A
Pts
2006-07
CLS
76
7
11
18
Career

179
13
24
37

On the other hand the Capitals can reference Vernon Fiddler's resigning with Nashville, 2 years $1.7 million.

Vernon Fiddler

Team
GP
G
A
Pts
2006-07
CLS
72
11
15
26
Career

148
23
21
44

In the end, I'd expect the decision to be closer to Fiddler's deal then Svitov's. Somewhere around $800,000 a year. Alexander Svitov received a more lucrative contract from the Blue Jackets because he's a past top draft pick (#3 overall in 2001) and has the potential to develop into a first line NHL forward.

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