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Brown's Arbitration Ask is... Incredibly Reasonable

October 20, 2020, 1:54 PM ET [64 Comments]
Michael Stuart
Ottawa Senators Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Ottawa Senators appear to be heading towards an arbitration battle with forward Connor Brown. Per Bruce Garrioch’s review of the filings, the team and player have each submitted their proposed contract value to the arbitrator:

The question that strikes me based on this information is simple: Why hasn’t he been signed yet? If you accept that a player’s ask will be high, and the team’s number will be low, it’s difficult to fathom a reason that this deal hasn’t been done.

Even at the “inflated” number of $4.8M for a single season, Brown is likely worth the gamble for the Ottawa Senators. His 43 points in the shortened season rank second on the team, behind only Brady Tkachuk; that puts him ahead of a player like Colin White, who recently signed a long-term deal at $4.75M per season. Based on the team’s existing internal salary structure, it certainly feels like Brown’s case is stronger than the team’s. Meeting *anywhere* in the middle of the arbitration submissions is a win for the team, but may come at the expense of the relationship.

The most disappointing part about this proceeding towards arbitration is the fact that the Senators could have afforded to overpay beyond the $4.8M, on at least a two-year deal, without it hurting the team’s salary cap plan to integrate prospects. The team suggested that Brown was a core piece that they wanted to keep around moving forward, but it’s becoming clear that the plan on paper was disconnected from reality somewhere along the line. Thankfully, there’s still a bit of time to avoid the wholly unnecessary spectacle of an arbitration hearing; here’s hoping that the team makes the most of it.

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In other news, all signs are pointing towards Anthony Duclair having overplayed his hand in free agency. There are reports on Twitter today that indicate that the Senators were willing to go north of $4M per season on a multi-year extension, but that the player turned them down looking for more. The market is quite clearly not going to deliver ‘more’ for the 25-year-old, and in fact seems quite likely to deliver less. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, right?

As always, thanks for reading.
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