Avoiding arbitration at all costs
Despite recent hearings that favored management, the most effective factor of the arbitration process for the Players Association remains the threat of what might happen if it gets that far, writes Terry Frei.
If there were NHL standings for arbitration, this week's Mike Cammalleri decision -- $6.7 million over two years -- would go under "W" for management and "L" for the players.If the agent for the Kings' winger, former NHL forward Mike Gillis, were a coach, he would have yanked his starting goaltender and allowed some of the boys to infer that they should focus on "sending a message" in the third period -- right up to the 14:59 mark. What's funny about that is even though we're two years into the salary cap age, it's reasonable to portray a $3.35-million cap number and effectively a 100 percent raise over the $1.6 million he made last season, even for a top young forward, as a resounding victory for the Kings -- and, indirectly, everyone else in the league.
Terry Frei is a regular contributor to ESPN.com. He is the author of "Third Down and a War to Go" and the upcoming "'77."