Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Montador on Monday

On Monday, to little fanfare, Steve Montador's arbitration hearing finished off with him being awarded a 1-year deal, worth $800,000. Montador should be eligible for Unrestricted Free Agency next season after this deal and should do his best to earn himself a bigger paycheck through those negotiations. Last season, Montador only recorded 1 goal and 8 assists in 72 games, which left him 166th among defensemen. If he improves him offensive output, he may be able to jump quite a few places in the rankings, but for right now, it doesn't seem likely that he'll be picked on many teams in the pools this year.

Ville PeltonenOlli JokinenNathan Horton
Brett McLeanJozef StumpelRadek Dvorak
Rostislav OleszStephen Weiss *Richard Zednik
David BoothGregory CampbellDrew Larman
Jay BouwmeesterRuslan Salei
Bryan AllenMike Van Ryn
Steve Montador
Branislav Mezei
Tomas Vokoun
Craig Anderson

The Panthers line-up shown above is only worth $38.2 million (approx.) and they still find themselves quite a ways apart from centre Stephen Weiss. The only logical concern left would be that the Panthers ownership/management has slapped a team budget on that isn't near the cap maximum and Weiss' demands are too high for their restraints. By Weiss' numbers, 48 points in 74 games, appeal and value to the club, I wouldn't push a salary larger than $2 million on the 24 year-old centre. If I was abritrating this case, his best comparison would be to Calgary's Matthew Lombardi for age, position and points... Lombardi will only earn $1.55 million this year and next... with a boost to $2.35 in 2009/10. That would probably be the benchmark I would use and I would imagine Florida is using at the bargaining table now. This process could take a while, but fortunately for GM Jacques Martin, Weiss is the only real building block left to put in place.

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