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Mikheyev Enters Arbitration With Maple Leafs At Almost Triple Team’s Offer

The Maple Leafs have filed for a two-year contract of $1 million per season while Ilya Mikheyev has filed a one-year, $2.7 million contract.

On Monday, the two dollar figures that would be presented in the Wednesday’s arbitration case between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ilya Mikheyev became public. While it’s always the case that dollar figures come in high for the player and lower from the team, there’s a big difference between what the two sides are presenting.

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that the Maple Leafs have filed for a two-year contract that carries an average annual value of $1 million. Mikheyev, on the other hand, has filed a one-year, $2.7 million contract. Keep in mind, the arbitrator does not need to choose one filing or the other and will often land somewhere in the middle, but it goes to show why so many teams and players try to avoid this process. The Maple Leafs will have to spend hours telling Mikheyev why he’s not worth close to what he’s asking and Mikheyev will have to convince an arbitrator that the Leafs are lowballing him.

While the case is set for Wednesday, the two sides can come to an agreement anytime prior to the meeting. But, once the hearing begins, both sides must wait for the reward and cannot settle while the arbitrator deliberates.

Ilya Mikheyev Toronto Maple Leafs
Ilya Mikheyev Toronto Maple Leafs

A Difficult Balancing Act for the Maple Leafs

Seeing as the team is so close to the cap, every penny counts when it comes to what Mikheyev might be awarded. It’s not that he might not be worth it, but GM Kyle Dubas needs to get the best possible value.

Mikheyev was fantastic for the Maple Leafs early in the season, but suffered a wrist injury which derailed his momentum. If the Leafs get back the player who had eight goals and 23 points in 39 games, they’ll have a fantastic player at a bargain rate if the arbitrator sides with them. But, Mikheyev’s agent is calculating what the winger would have scored had he stayed healthy. It will be interesting to see where this goes if the hearing actually takes place.

Hearings are supposed to be based on actual production, not potential. This isn’t likely to go in the player’s favor.

Next: Marc-Andre Fleury Admits He’s Surprised He’s Still With Golden Knights

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