Report: Niederreiter files for arbitration

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Last month, the agent for Wild forward Nino Niederreiter said he and his client wanted to avoid arbitration.

But on Tuesday, the Niederreiter camp made a somewhat expected, if not required move — filing for arbitration ahead of tomorrow’s deadline, per the Star-Tribune.

Back in June, agent Andre Rufener told the Star-Tribune Niederreiter wanted to stay away from arbitration and hoped to get a long-term deal done Minnesota. Rufener also addressed trade reports involving his client, explaining that — while he doesn’t envision a deal happening — he is aware that Niederreiter’s in demand across the NHL.

“We’re just taking this as a positive thing,” Rufener said. “There’s interest in him across the league.”

It’s easy to see why. Niederreiter is only 24 and has cracked the 20-goal plateau in each of his last three seasons.

As such, one would expect him to get a significant raise from the three-year, $8 million deal he just wrapped. That one carried a $2.67M average annual cap hit.

One has to think Niederreiter is well aware of the big money being splashed to keep talented young forwards locked in long-term. Jonathan Drouin, for example, scored a six-year, $33 million extension from Montreal just hours after being acquired from Tampa Bay.

The tricky part for the Wild, of course, is that Niederreiter isn’t the only talented youngster needing a new deal. Mikael Granlund, who led the team in points last year, is also a RFA that could file for arbitration by tomorrow’s deadline.

It is worth noting, however, that teams and players can continue negotiating after the filing.