Friday, June 13, 2008

Pens taking Fleury to arbitration

Well, Marc-Andre Fleury, rated the most desirable goalie RFA by some, will not be a restricted free agent this year.

The Penguins are taking him to arbitration. This is a good move by the team, it buys them some time. If Fleury hit the market on July 1, there was a pretty good chance some team might have given him an offer sheet of a ridiculous amount of money. The Pens would be in the uncomfortable situation to match it and pay more than they wanted to, or let Fleury go and since Ty Conklin is a free agent, have a huge hole in the depth chart at goalie.

Arbitration, which runs from the end of July to early August buys more time to negotiate before the hearing. Players and teams can make comparable analysis, meaning only RFAs can be used. We think this is good for the Pens, after all Carolina's Cam Ward is the same age and has similiar stats and, oh yeah a Stanley Cup. Ward signed $8 million for 3 years ($2.66 million cap hit). Buffalo's Ryan Miller got that same contract three years ago and had similiar numbers/regard as Fleury does now.

Both sides will probably be looking for a long-term contract in the weeks to come, but by taking Fleury to arbitration, the Pens have essentially just pulled him out of the fire and won't allow other teams to even think of making an offer.

No comments: