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Three Key RFA’s Headed to NHL Arbitration This Week

Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders desperately want to keep Ryan Pulock and Matthew Barzal. Can they?

As previously noted, the NHL restricted free agency (RFA) process can be complicated at times. Some RFA contracts have arbitration rights, and some do not. Several RFA contracts with arbitrations were settled prior to their scheduled hearings including deals for Devon Toews, Victor Olofsson, Anthony DeAngelo, Jake Virtanen, Ilya Mikheyev, and Sam Reinhart to name a few. However, for RFA’s still waiting for the right contractual numbers it will be a big week with several important arbitration hearings scheduled.

Below you can find details on three notable arbitration hearings set to take place this week:

Ryan Strome, C/RW, 27 – Arbitration Hearing: November 5th

During the shortened 19/20 season, Strome found his offensive touch again tallying 59 points in New York with the Rangers. Most observers are expecting a deal to get done prior to an arbitration hearing, but Strome and the Rangers still have lots of ground to cover on a final salary number. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests Strome’s camp is looking for around $5.7 million, while the Rangers are looking at around $3.6 million. Time is running short so keep a close eye out for a Strome/Rangers deal prior to Thursday.

Ryan Pulock, RD, 26 – Arbitration Hearing: November 6th

The former Brandon Wheat King star, Ryan Pulock has been consistently productive over his last three NHL seasons. Pulock has always been known for his blast from the point on the power play, but he can also be tough to play against in his own end. He is a big rig at 6’2, 215 and his ever-improving two-way game should make him a priority player on the Islanders’ blue line. Unquestionably, the Islanders would love to keep Pulock and Matthew Barzal – but can they?

MacKenzie Weegar, LD, 26 Arbitration Hearing: November 8th

Weegar is another right-hander (like Pulock) that has recently transformed his game into that of a capable NHL defenseman. Despite his continuous improvement with the team that drafted him in the 7th round (2013), Weegar and his camp have voiced frustration with the Panthers for not having reached a deal thus far.

Florida has the cap space with over $11M of available room, so what is the hold up?  Other NHL teams have also noted the Panthers lack of urgency in signing Weegar and he has been featured in several trade rumours accordingly.  Will the Panthers get a deal done before his arbitration date on Sunday or will Weegar be on the move?

Stay tuned!

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