The Vancouver Canucks' Mason Raymond, the Edmonton Oiler's Gilbert Brule, the Washington Capitals' Jeff Schultz and the Atlanta Thrashers' Andrew Ladd all filed for salary arbitration on Monday.
The NHL and the NHLPA will determine the hearing dates for each of the arbitration eligible restricted free agents on Tuesday.
Arbitration cases will be heard between July 20th and August 5th in Toronto. A player can still sign or agree to a new deal with his team up until the arbitrator's ruling.
Both Ladd and Raymond could be awarded as much as $3 million per season, which would be a substantial raise on what they earned last season. Ladd made $1.65 million while helping the Chicago Blackhawks capture the Stanley Cup before being traded to the Thrashers in exchange for Ivan Vishnevskiy and a draft pick. Meanwhile Raymond enjoyed a career year while helping the Canucks capture the Northwest division crown. He earned $760,000 last season.
Brule will compare his statistics to those of Toronto Maple Leafs' forward Nikolai Kulemin who recently signed a two-year contract worth $4.7 million. Brule finished the season with 17 goals and 20 assists while Kulemin had 16 goals and 20 assists.
The 24-year old Schultz may end up with the biggest raise after leading the NHL in plus/minus this past season with a remarkable Plus-50. He added three goals and 20 assists in 73 games, helping lead the Caps to the Southwest Division crown. He earned just $715,000 last year.
Many players that file for arbitration sign contracts prior to their hearings as to avoid the often negative and unpredictable process. In 1997, then Islanders goaltender Tommy Salo was reduced to tears after being torn to shreds by general manager Mike Milbury during his arbitration hearing.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed unrestricted free agent defenceman Brett Lebda to a two-year contract, worth $1.45 million per season. Lebda, 28, has appeared in 326 regular season games amassing 18 goals, 50 assists, and 201 penalty minutes.