Arbitration is Hard

I like how confusing arbitration is.
Here’s a screenshot of yesterday’s Star-Ledger Devils page:


screenshot of Star-Ledger front page featuring conflicting news

That about covers all of the bases, doesn’t it? Maybe they could have said Gomez is retiring, but that’s sort of a longshot.
I’m surprised the Devils are working to figure out how to fit Gomez in. He’s so talented, but the organization has never really seemed to like him, seeing him as a defensive liability and sometimes questioning his intensity (Gomez is a low-key guy).
Actually, I’m even more shocked Gomez wants to stay with the Devils. It must be Stockholm Syndrome.
Speaking of arbitration, Alan Maki had a great column on it in yesterday’s Globe & Mail. Sadly, it’s behind the paywall (Tear that wall down, Globe & Mail! Tear that wall down!).
Apparently, either the team or the player can fire the arbitrator, which encourages their awards to be right in the middle, which encourages teams to lowball players and players to highball teams.
No one from the NHL would speak to Maki on the record, but one assistant GM gave him an interesting scenario:

“Since the arbitrator can be fired by either side, what happens is he always ends up with a middle point. That drives the player to go in high and the team to go in low…In baseball, it’s either/or. That drives the team and the player to go with a more realistic offer or even lead to a settlement before arbitration.”

Finally, I don’t want to ever hear anyone talk about Sergei Fedorov not working hard. The guy just went up with the Blue Angels in an attempt to publicize hockey in Ohio. He didn’t blackout during the flight, which is considered impressive. Look for Fedorov to run with the Bulls through Cincinnati as the season draws closer.