Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/27/10 at 08:06 PM ET
from Jesse Rogers from ESPN Chicago,
Antti Niemi’s arbitration technically got underway on Tuesday when both sides exchanged written briefs in advance of their hearing on Thursday. All signs point to the Hawks going to arbitration for just the second time with a player (Kyle Calder in 2006) since the current CBA was signed.
As Niemi’s agent, Bill Zito, put it to me on Tuesday, this is an atypical arbitration.
“Most arbitrations are a disagreement in a player’s worth,” he said. “In this case, it’s about managing the [salary] cap.”
Sounds like the Hawks want to pay him, they just can’t. But is that entirely true?
First off, Niemi could accept less. Of course, that brings up the question, less than what? It’s simply more about accepting what the Hawks can afford. And therein lies the rub.
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