One of the only real bargaining chips that restricted free agents have is the ability to take his team to arbitration. The Wings have two RFAs remaining, and one — Kyle Quincey — has opted to take the team to arbitration, a sign that the two parties haven’t come to an agreement on a number (the other, Justin Abdelkader, declined to take the team through a hearing).
Now that Quincey has filed, no other team can send him an offer sheet — which wouldn’t have happened anyway — and the team has a few weeks to work out a deal. If the two sides cannot make an agreement, a third party — or, arbiter — will determine his salary for the next one or two seasons (the team gets to decide the term). Each side will present their case and a number that they think is fair. In the past, these hearings have been difficult on player and team, so most teams will try to work out their agreements before getting to the hearing.
Once the arbiter rules on a dollar amount, the team has to decide if they accept the terms or if they walk away, making Q an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any club and with no compensation coming to the Detroit Red Wings. Considering the state that the defense currently finds itself, I can’t imagine the Wings walk away from the award, which is probably why Kyle Quincey’s agent advised his client to go through this process. When you couple that with the outrageous salaries that everyone — particularly defensemen — are commanding this July, Kyle Quincey could be in for a windfall.
Which got us thinking… we can have a little fun with this. We’ve begun taking predictions on Twitter (@TPLhockey) — tweet us your estimate. What do you think Kyle Quincey will command IF THE TWO PARTIES HEAD TO ARBITRATION. There’s a good chance that they don’t make it that far and Ken Holland locks Q up before the hearing. If that happens, all of the predictions become void. But if the two parties make it to the hearing and the arbiter awards a salary — what will it be? Not what you think he deserves… what the hearing will yield. The closest without going over (just like The Price is Right, y’all!) will be the lucky recipient of a TPL t-shirt of their choice. If there are two estimates with the same number, we’ll have to have a rap battle or something to determine the winner.
For comparison’s sake, he made $3.25M last season as salary (and his cap hit spread out over the life of the two year deal was $3.125M).
You can follow along with the current estimates by checking out this spreadsheet:
Photo Credit: Shaylan Spurway, The Fourth Period