By Carter Brooks
Photo by James Carey Lauder
NHL Restricted Free Agents will plead their case for hefty raises beginning on Saturday, July 20th when arbitration cases get underway from Toronto, ON.
Included on the NHLPA’s original list of the 44 players who filed for arbitration were current Winnipeg Jets Andrew Copp and Neal Pionk. As anticipated, the number of RFAs without contracts has and will continue to drop as the dates of the hearings approach.
On a list headlined by netminder Jordan Binnington, Brandon’s Joel Edmundson and former Winnipeg Jets Jacob Trouba, Joel Armia and Chase de Leo, Copp and Pionk lead the way for the Jets.
Copp, who randomly drew the second possible hearing date of July 21st, will travel to Toronto just one day after Armia’s scheduled visit on Saturday the 20th.
Neal Pionk’s case will be looked upon on July 24th. The arbitration hearings are set to take place up until the fourth of August, with Edmundson drawing the final potential date.
As has been the case for the past number of years, nearly 95 percent of all players that file for arbitration sort out their contracts with their team prior to their hearing. But with that being said, Jets' General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff must act quickly to avoid two fast-approaching arbitration hearings set to take place in just over one week’s time.