Nick Spaling is apparently looking for a $2.85 million salary for next season. Now, we admittedly don’t know very much about Nick Spaling, but we just can’t see the Penguins giving him that kind of money. Ken Campbell of the Hockey News says that the Penguins are offering $1.65 million.
He has an arbitration hearing scheduled for this Friday. Here’s how arbitration works:
“A decision must be made within 48 hours of the hearing. When the decision is announced, the team has the right to decline, or “walk away” from the award. If the team exercises this right, the player can declare himself an unrestricted free agent.”
Spaling is not an irreplaceable player by any means, but losing him would hurt a Penguins team that is already lacking in forward depth, especially since Brandon Sutter hasn’t been re-signed yet either. However, a deal with Sutter is apparently close. The Penguins may want to get a deal made with Sutter first before moving on to a deal with Spaling.
While Spaling could be replaced if he can’t reach a deal with the Penguins, fans would (rightly or wrongly) probably be outraged at the team not being able to sign one of the players who was part of the James Neal trade.