Phillip Danault and Joel Armia file for salary arbitration

There remains plenty of time left to negotiate a deal

Montreal Canadiens forwards Phillip Danault and Joel Armia have decided to file for salary arbitration.

Thursday at 5:00 pm was the deadline for players to file. The Canadiens came to terms with Jacob de la Rose earlier in the day.

A side benefit of filing for arbitration is that the players become offer sheet protected, so other teams can no longer try and poach the restricted free agents.

What happens next?

For the immediate future both sides can continue to negotiate and try to come to an amicable agreement prior to the arbitration hearing.

The league will set a date and time for the hearing with an arbitrator, which becomes the deadline for the players and the Canadiens to come to an amicable agreement. Arbitration hearings are usually towards the end of July, into early August.

Election of Term

The Canadiens, as the party who the salary arbitration was filed against, can choose whether the contract the Arbitrator will award is one or two seasons long. By default the decision is for one year.

Agenda for the Hearing

As laid out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, here is the agenda, in order, for the arbitration hearing:

  • Affirmative case of the player and the NHLPA;
  • Affirmative case of the club and the league;
  • Rebuttal and closing arguments of the player and the NHLPA;
  • Rebuttal and closing arguments of the club and the league;
  • Subrebuttal by the Player and the NHLPA if new substantive issues are introduced for the first time during the club and league’s rebuttal case./

Arbitration Decision

Within 48 hours of the close of the hearing, the Arbitrator must issue his decision, which will contain:

  • The term of the Standard Player Contract
  • The NHL Salary to be paid to the player by the club
  • The inclusion of a minor league clause and the amount of minor league salary to be paid.
  • A brief statement of the reasons for the decision, including identification of any comparable contracts relied on./

Walk-Away Rights

The Canadiens don’t necessarily have to accept the contract as set forth by the arbitrator. Within 48 hours of the award from the Arbitrator, in the case of an award of more than $4,084,219 (source: for a one-year award, the Canadiens can notify the player that they will not offer him the awarded contract. If they do that, the player would become an Unrestricted Free Agent, free to negotiate and sign with any team, with no compensation owed to the Canadiens.

If the Canadiens selected a two-year term and the award is more than $4,084,219, they can elect to walk away from the second year of the deal, and only offer a single-year contract. If they do that the player would become an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of the season, one year sooner than normal.

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