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08-19-2004, 04:30 PM
Vlad The Impaler
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Originally Posted by Burke's Evil Spirit
Are you kidding? It may not be as pronounced, but there have been some ludicrous arbitration awards to "defensive defenceman". Witt and Salei this year alone, and going back a few we have Jason Smith's landmark $2.2 million. Granted, this problem got a lot better when Hits were eliminated as a stat, but still...
In years past meaning a couple years. They seem to be a *little* less prone to those "injustices" but it's still not great.

Many players and many GMs were on record not long after the arbitration process was put into place saying so themselves. My comment is not restricted to defense but even moreso to intangible aspects that are valued but can't be easily quantified by a tool (arbitrator). They might include the whole variety of factors you and I would look at like leadership, consistency, ability to step up and playing through injuries. Very important players with intangibles were avoiding the process like the plague. Likewise, the reverse is true. Only an agent with a KillToronto-like intellect would tell a guy like Stillman, for instance, to not go in arbitration.

I don't remember Witt's salary but I saw it a few days ago and thought it was very reasonable. Not a huge raise at all and again, if you compare with Stillman, you can see how this type of player gets the shaft in arbitration.

I have not seen Salei's salary(nor do I remember his former salary) so I can't comment on that.

You must also take into account that each case is handled by a given arbitrator. It is far from a consistent process. It's very possible one player with great stats get the shaft once or twice, just like it's possible for a low key guy with intangibles to be lucky and get his case resolved by someone with an IQ greater than his shoe size. But I would say if you look at the process overall, my comments are true and agents, players and GMs seem to agree with that line of thought.

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