The Malik Report
by George Malik on 07/10/13 at 04:49 PM ET
Updated at 7:28 PM: Via RedWingsFeed, restricted free agent defenseman Brendan Smith has filed for salary arbitration with the Red Wings. The Free Press's Helene St. James confirms that Smith, who earned $875,000 this past season (pro-rated for 48 games, of course), has indeed filed:
Jiri Hudler and Ray Sheppard are the last two Wings to have gotten to arbitration hearings, in 2009 and 1995, respectively. The Wings will "get 'er done" before the hearing, and as they're able to a) defer Daniel Alfredsson's $2 million in bonuses and b) exceed the summer cap by 10%, they won't have a hard time retaining the services of fellow restricted free agents Gustav Nyquist or Joakim Andersson, either.
A restricted free agent, Smith can continue to negotiate on a new contract with the Red Wings until the date of the hearing, which has yet to be determined.
Smith's filing is considered a formality since the Red Wings rarely allow their cases to reach arbitration, which speeds up the process of getting a new contract in place.
The last Red Wings player to go through an arbitration hearing was Ray Sheppard in 1995.
Several Red Wings have filed for arbitration since then, including Kyle Quincey last year and Valtteri Filppula two years ago, but none of those cases were heard as an agreement was reached.
Neither side wants to go through a potentially messy arbitration hearing unless absolutely necessary.
By filing for arbitration, Smith is precluded from receiving an offer sheet from another team.
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