Restricted free agent Colin Wilson is going to get a significant raise this summer and soon he’ll know exactly how big it is.
With his arbitration hearing set for Tuesday, Wilson has filed a request for a $4.25 million salary while the Nashville Predators have countered at $3 million, per Elliotte Friedman. He earned $2.5 million last season in the final campaign of a three-year, $6 million contract.
The 25-year-old forward set new career-highs with 20 goals and 42 points in 77 contests in 2014-15. He went on to score another five goals in Nashville’s six-game first round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
He’s the last of the three Predators RFAs to file for salary arbitration to be dealt with. Nashville traded Taylor Beck to Toronto and inked Craig Smith to a five-year, $21.25 million contract.
Barring another trade or signing in addition to Wilson’s, Nashville will likely enter the season with more than $10 million in cap space, per General Fanager. It does have some significant players eligible to test the restricted free agent waters next summer though, including Filip Forsberg, Mattias Ekholm, and Seth Jones.
In the end, Craig Smith and the Nashville Predators didn’t need an arbitrator to render a decision on his salary. The two sides reached a four-year, $21.25 million deal on their own.
But they still went through with Monday’s hearing. And as we all know, sometimes those hearings can cause hurt feelings.
Not so in this case, according to Smith and GM David Poile.
“I’ve probably said worse things (about) myself than what I heard (in) there,” Smith said, per The Tennessean.
Said Poile: “I’m sure if you talked to Craig Smith, he might have taken disagreement to things that we said, but I would be very surprised if he’s not a very happy guy today.”
Calgary’s Lance Bouma is scheduled for arbitration today. Thursday, it’s Washington’s Braden Holtby and Ottawa’s Alex Chiasson.
Related: Ah, arbitration: Holtby reportedly asking for $8 million, Caps countering at $5.1 million
The Nashville Predators have locked in one of their best goalscorers, signing Craig Smith to a five-year, $21.25 million extension on Monday.
The deal, which carries a $4.25 million cap hit, is a nice raise from the $2M Smith made annually on his last deal.
“As evidenced by his back-to-back 20-goal seasons and performance in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Craig Smith is an integral part of our team’s young core and we are pleased to have agreed on a long-term contract that both parties are comfortable with,” Preds GM David Poile said in a release. “With Craig’s durability, work ethic and intensity, we see him continuing the build on his recent production and be a valuable contributor to our offensive attack for the next five seasons.”
Smith, 25, scored five points in six games during Nashville’s opening-round playoff loss to Chicago, and was one of just four Preds forwards to average more than 20 minutes per game. The former University of Wisconsin standout is, as Poile mentioned, also one of the organization’s most durable players — since breaking in during the 2011-12 campaign, Smith has appeared in 277 of a possible 294 games, and played all 82 last season.
With this deal done, Poile now has just one key RFA to re-sign — Colin Wilson, the former first-round pick that scored a career-high 20 goals and 42 points last season.