The arbitration case for Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby is set for 9:00 AM this morning in Toronto. Should no contract be signed prior to the arbitration hearing, both the Capitals and Braden Holtby’s “camp” will make their cases heard and present justification for the contract values and terms they have requested.
After both sides have been heard, (Each side has 90 minutes, between direct case and rebuttal, to make argument) the third-party mediator assigned to the case will be required to render a decision within 48 hours. The decision will include the final value of the contract. Regardless of the outcome, one way or another, the Holtby case will conclude by Saturday, July 25th.
Because the arbitration hearing is a player-elected arbitration case, the Capitals have the right to choose the length of the deal, either a one or two-year term. In pre-hearing papers filed on Tuesday, the Capitals have indicated that it will be a one-year contract. This will again see Braden Holtby entering next off-season as a Restricted Free Agent.
As reported on Tuesday, Capitals goalie Braden Holtby has filed for $8 million in a pre-arbitration brief and the Capitals have countered with $5.1 million. Both sides are somewhat in agreement with a long-term deal of 5-6 years, so the term of the contract has never really been an issue. Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post presented Holtby’s side of the case on July 21st.
An additional layer o complexity will be included in this years arbitration cases. Previously inadmissible, NHL’s ‘enhanced stats’ will be on the table at arbitration hearings for first time.
Any statistic provided on NHL.com may be used as evidence, the NHLPA confirmed on Monday. Even though “enhanced stats” have been in existence for years, they were inadmissible because they were not statistics officially kept by the league.
What may be overlooked in the totality of the Holtby arbitration process is the residual effects that an arbitration case might have. The Capitals will be looking to essentially discredit Holtby and his value to the team, the antithesis of what the team has been trying to do in the past – build Holtby’s confidence. So in essence, the total effect of the case will not be known for some time.