Mason Raymond, Gilbert Brule, Jeff Schultz and Andrew Ladd file for salary arbitration

schultzjeff.jpgToday marks the deadline for NHL players to file for salary arbitration. While the process can often be lucrative, it’s something both players and teams would rather avoid for the simple reason that the debates on a person’s value can really wreak havoc on someone’s psyche. Just look at the tales of general managers critiquing their players to the point of tears (see: Tommy Salo.)

Still, a lot of money is handed out during the summer so agents and players decide to go through the process. I’m not sure if this is a comprehensive list, but TSN provides a few more names being thrown into the arbitration hat.

The Vancouver Canucks’ Mason Raymond, the Edmonton Oiler’s Gilbert Brule, the Washington Capitals’ Jeff Schultz and the Atlanta Thrashers’ Andrew Ladd all filed for salary arbitration on Monday.

TSN also did a nice job of breaking down the general ballpark each player could fall into.

Both Ladd and Raymond could be awarded as much as $3 million per season, which would be a substantial raise on what they earned last season. Ladd made $1.65 million while helping the Chicago Blackhawks capture the Stanley Cup before being traded to the Thrashers in exchange for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a draft pick. Meanwhile Raymond enjoyed a career year while helping the Canucks capture the Northwest division crown. He earned $760,000 last season.

Brule will compare his statistics to those of Toronto Maple Leafs’ forward Nikolai Kulemin who recently signed a two-year contract worth $4.7 million. Brule finished the season with 17 goals and 20 assists while Kulemin had 16 goals and 20 assists.

The 24-year old Schultz may end up with the biggest raise after leading the NHL in plus/minus this past season with a remarkable Plus-50. He added three goals and 20 assists in 73 games, helping lead the Caps to the Southwest Division crown. He earned just $715,000 last year.

Players often sign last-minute contracts with their teams, so it’s no guarantee that the arduous process must take place. We’ll keep you up to date on all the latest transactions going forward.

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    Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record

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    When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

    With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

    As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

    Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

    So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


    You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

    Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

    “Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

    Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

    Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

    It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

    Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

    On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

    It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

    * – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.

    Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

    Mike Condon, John Moore,
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    If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

    The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

    After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

    If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

    Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

    Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

    Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

    If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

    “Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

    The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

    Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

    With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

    Measuring stick stretch begins

    Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

    This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

    It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

    In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.