Tomas Tatar was among 30 players to file for arbitration earlier this week.
Although there is still time to get a new deal done before his scheduled arbitration date on July 20, he has reportedly indicated that next season could be his last in Detroit if the two sides go through with the hearing and Tatar signs the one-year contract as a result.
Tatar is 26 years old, and a restricted free agent following a three-year deal that paid him $2.75 million annually.
“Detroit offered me a contract, and even with a few options — for a year, or four or five. We’re still talking about the length, and of course, the financial amount of the contract,” Tatar has told CSA.sk, per the Detroit News. “However, we aren’t going anywhere, and there’s been time enough.”
“Arbitration is the last option, I have to sign off, it’s just a mandatory contract. Unless I agree with Detroit, I’ll go to the court (salary arbitration), where they’ll give me a year’s contract. That would probably be my last season in Detroit. We’ll see in a few days or weeks before it all comes together.”
Tatar has four full NHL seasons under his belt — all with Detroit — and he’s been a consistent scorer and point producer during that time, reaching at least the 20-goal mark in each of his last three campaigns. He was on the verge of a 30-goal season two years ago.
It’s already been reported that Tatar is looking for a contract with term and to be paid in the area of $5 million annually.
Per MLive.com, Tatar had offseason shoulder surgery and may not be ready for the beginning of training camp. However, according to the same report, general manager Ken Holland expects Tatar to be ready for the start of the regular season.