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07-27-2006, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Teufelsdreck View Post
This thread is blurring the distinction between UFA at 27 and arbitration.

IMO free agency is a more potent disrupter than arbitration because at least with arbitration the team has a choice in keeping a player. Once a player is a UFA, the team is powerless. Also, please note that only a minority of players opt for arbitration. Only one Hab took that path, and the process was aborted when Ryder reached a settlement before arbitration.

Still, arbitration can also affect team stability. The higher the arbitration awards, the less the cap room. However, that principle applies to every NHL team, not just the Habs. A player does not opt for arbitration if his motive is just to play in a sunnier clime or to feel culturally comfortablr or to escape taxes. He does it because he wants to stay, although at a higher salary than what was offered him. If those extraneous issues are the nub of his discontent, he asks for a trade or waits until he eligible for unrestricted free agency.
If teams are forced to walk away the players will be free agents hence similar impact on teams

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