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Maple Leafs Agree to 2-Yr Deal With Ilya Mikheyev

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Ilya Mikheyev have agreed to a two-year contract extension just prior to the arbitration hearing.

The arbitration hearing set for tomorrow won’t need to take place between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ilya Mikheyev. The two sides have agreed to contract terms prior to the hearing and the forward has signed a two-year deal with the team.

As per a report by Dan Milestein-Hockey (Mikheyev’s agent), the contract will see the talented forward lock in for two more seasons. Elliotte Friedman followed up that the deal was for $1.645 million per season.

Fans were a bit surprised when the arbitration numbers came in so far apart by the two sides. While the process breeds a player coming in far too high and the team coming in low, when it was learned the Maple Leafs had filed for a two-year contract that carries an average annual value of $1 million but Mikheyev filed a one-year, $2.7 million contract, some in Leafs Nation thought Mikheyev was out to lunch.

But, most who understood this process also knew that this is how arbitration works and that the final ruling by an arbitrator would be closer to the Leafs offer. As such, it’s not shocking to learn that the deal that got signed was only $600K off the Maple Leafs offer, whereas it was over a million per season lower than Mikheyev’s ask.

But, the player gets the second year on the deal which is a win for both sides.

Smart by Both Sides to Avoid Arbitration

The best part about all this is that both sides avoid the arbitration hearing itself which is not ideal for player and team relationship building. While it’s sometimes a necessary process, it’s meant for the team to list all the reasons a player is worth very little, while the player learns why the team doesn’t like him. For all parties, it’s always best to avoid hearings whenever possible.

Next: After Big Offseason Moves, GM Talks If Canadiens Can Keep Danault

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