If he’s going to sign a long-term contract with Ottawa, he wants close to the $21 million over three years that Jarome Iginla got from Calgary.
Instead of settling on a deal, Hossa will likely file for arbitration — along with teammate Martin Havlat — at today’s 5 p.m. deadline, accept a one-year contract from an arbitrator and then shop himself around as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Flyers general manager Bob Clarke said Esche has not signed, because he is looking for a raise. Clarke said he was “confident that a deal will get done soon,” but also made it clear he would have no problem going with 25-year-old Antero Niittymaki as his starting goaltender if the season were to start today.
ESPN released a statement that said: “We have a matching right and remain interested in continuing our relationship with the NHL, as long as the deal is commensurate with the value of the rights being offered.”
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Canucks fans and the city of Vancouver for all of your kind wishes. Your support, coupled with that of my teammates, Canucks ownership, management and staff and my agent Pat Morris have been a great help in these very difficult times.”
Although NHL owners sought and won a more favorable arbitration process for teams in the collective bargaining agreement, there probably will not be a rush to use their first opportunity to take players to arbitration.