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DeBrincat, Meier, and Dubois: 3 RFAs, 3 Different Situations

The Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils will pursue arbitration with DeBrincat and Meier. The Winnipeg Jets will not on Pierre-Luc Dubois.

According to Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff, the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils have chosen to pursue arbitration with Alex DeBrincat and Timo Meier, respectively. However, the Winnipeg Jets have not taken the same route with Pierre-Luc Dubois. Seravalli notes the contrasting approaches, stating, “Three high-profile RFAs. Three different situations. Two different angles of attack.”

The news of Timo Meier’s arbitration came shortly after reports emerged that Jesper Bratt and the Devils were nearing an eight-year extension with an average annual value (AAV) of $7.875 million, totaling $63 million. On Thursday, Elliotte Friedman reported that the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch mentioned Ottawa’s intention to take Alex DeBrincat to arbitration. Friedman added that he also heard the Devils were planning the same for Timo Meier. He explained that in both cases, the teams retain the rights and can attempt to negotiate a long-term deal, but a one-year arbitration award could be 85% of the player’s previous season’s salary.

Related: New Jersey Devils Sign Jesper Bratt to 8-Year Contract Extension

Following the successful extension of Jesper Bratt, the Devils now have $26,407,500 in remaining salary cap space, which ranks fifth in the NHL. This provides ample room to re-sign Timo Meier and address any remaining roster needs. Meier, a pending restricted free agent (RFA), was rumored to be signing a long-term deal at a slightly higher AAV of around $9 million. He expressed his satisfaction with the organization and his teammates, emphasizing his desire to stay with the team and referring to them as his newfound family.

Alex DeBrincat Timo Meier Pierre Luc Dubois arbitration
Alex DeBrincat Timo Meier Pierre Luc Dubois arbitration

As for Alex DeBrincat, it seems all but guaranteed that he will not sign an extension with the Senators. Ottawa intends to take DeBrincat to arbitration in the hopes of securing a 15% discount on his $9 million qualifying offer. General Manager Pierre Dorion has been actively engaging in trade discussions to strike a deal before the start of the draft on June 28. DeBrincat has reportedly provided a list of preferred teams, including the Florida Panthers, Vegas Golden Knights, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, and Nashville Predators. The Carolina Hurricanes could also be a potential fit.

Meanwhile, according to Murat Ates of The Athletic, Pierre-Luc Dubois has expressed openness to a trade outside of Montreal. One team to keep an eye on is the Los Angeles Kings. While it was widely believed that Dubois had a strong desire to exclusively join the Montreal Canadiens, recent reports suggest he may be considering other options. Dubois has informed the Jets that he has no intention of signing another deal with the team, even a short-term bridge agreement. The Jets are actively exploring trade possibilities for the talented forward.

Next: Maple Leafs Reportedly Not Bringing Back 3 UFAs Next Season

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