We’ve seen a handful of signings designed to avoid salary arbitration the last few days and with good reason; the meetings can get downright ugly. Sometimes, nobody wins.
Take the case of Clarke MacArthur and the Atlanta Thrashers. Chris Vivamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Thrashers decided to walk away from the arbitrator’s decision of a $2.4 million reward for MacArthur, making the player an unrestricted free agent. Joe discussed the possibility that this would happen yesterday, but now it’s official.
Lyle “Spector” Richardson provides a little background information on the kind of player that MacArthur is … and the kind of player his team was hoping for.
Once considered among the Sabres promising young forwards, MacArthur hadn’t played up to expectations, as it was hoped he would blossom into a potential 25-30 goal scorer.
It remains to be seen if MacArthur will find another NHL team willing to pay him the equivalent of the arbiter’s award. The market this summer has been stagnant owing to the lack of quality depth plus the high number of teams lacking salary cap space.
Buffalo dealt MacArthur to Atlanta during the trade deadline. He produced 16 goals and 35 points between the Sabres and the Thrashers, with a -16 rating. At 27-years-old, the winger still could find his legs in the NHL. The question is: will anyone feel the need to take a chance on him? The Thrashers certainly didn’t think he was worth that kind of money.