Tomas Tatar has been Detroit’s most consistent goalscorer over the last three years. He’s netted 29, 21 and 25 in each campaign, for a grand total of 75 — more than Phil Kessel, Patrick Marleau and Matt Duchene have scored over the same timeframe.
Now, Tatar wants to be paid accordingly.
Negotiations with forward Tomas Tatar may not be as easy. Tatar is likely to file for arbitration unless a deal gets done by Wednesday.
Tatar is looking for term and in the $5 million range.
Tatar, 26, is a restricted free agent coming off a three-year deal that paid $2.75 million annually. Based on his production, there’s no doubt he’s in line for a sizeable raise.
Detroit GM Ken Holland seems aware of this. Tatar and speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou both require new contracts this summer and, with his team hovering around the cap ceiling, Holland was relatively quiet in free agency. He made a noteworthy splash by inking veteran d-man Trevor Daley, but has been largely quiet aside from that.
If Tatar and Athanasiou get their expected pay bumps, Detroit could find itself over the $75 million ceiling, which would force Holland’s hand. Specifically, with regards to veteran defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who carries a $4.75 million cap hit.
Kronwall, who turns 37 next season, has been dealing with a chronically injured knee for several seasons. He’s been placed on long-term injured reserve before, and could be headed back there to clear up Detroit’s cap situation.