Washington Capitals: Holtby, Johansson File For Arbitration

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and forward Marcus Johansson have both filed for player-elected arbitration. The Washington Capitals and the duo basically have a three to four week deadline (depending on their court dates) to reach an agreement. The last time the Capitals went to arbitration with someone was back in 2009 when they went to arbitration with Milan Jurcina

First things first: don’t panic. This is a standard procedure that happens quite often. 23 players have filed for arbitration this off-season. I will be surprised if more than four of them even get their cases heard. The Washington Capitals can still reach agreements with Holtby and Johansson before they are due in court. The Capitals went through a similar process with John Carlson back in 2012.

Here’s a refresher of what goes on during arbitration: 

The evidence that can be used in arbitration cases:

  • The player’s “overall performance” including statistics in all previous seasons.
  • Injuries, illnesses and the number of games played.
  • The player’s length of service with the team and in the NHL.
  • The player’s “overall contribution” to the team’s success or failure.
  • The player’s “special qualities of leadership or public appeal.”
  • The performance and salary of any player alleged to be “comparable” to the player in the dispute.

Evidence that is not admissible:

  • The salary and performance of a “comparable” player who signed a contract as an unrestricted free agent.
  • Testimonials, video and media reports.
  • The financial state of the team.
  • The salary cap and the state of the team’s payroll. – Pro Ice Hockey

The Washington Capitals and the player will argue about what the cost for the player should be. The arbitration judge will make a ruling. The Caps must pay the player whatever the judge says that they must pay them. They do, however, have the option of making it a one year or two year deal.

There is actually one good thing that comes from this. Holtby and Johansson can’t be offered offer sheets. So the Washington Capitals don’t have to worry about losing either of the two for now. Hopefully the Caps can work something out with both players before arbitration.