The 2011 NHL salary arbitration season is fast approaching, and I would like to make a list of the salaries these players are worth based on comparable contracts.
1) Shea Weber, NSH: $6 million. He'll end up somewhere between Dan Boyle's $6.6M and Brent Seabrook's $5.8M. Lidstrom just won the Norris and resigned this offseason for $6.2M. He is a franchise player, and even if the arbitrator awarded him $10M I would not walk away. Arbitration date scheduled for Aug 2nd.
2) Zach Parise, NJ: $5.5 million. With Perry and Getzlaf making $5.3M per season and Kesler making $5M, this should be Parise's range. That being said he could argue that he's worth Anze Kopitar $6.8M, Mikko Koivu $6.7M, or even Tomas Vanek $7.1M (three contracts I would argue are all over priced). I am discounting him a little bit after missing most of last season with injury without knowing exactly how it will affect his long term health and production. What are the recovery rates for torn meniscus? Arbitration date scheduled for Aug 3rd.
3) Ryan Callahan, NYR: $3.5 million. Worth more than Steen's $3.3M, but the Krejci-Horton $3.75M - $4M range is too expensive. Arbitration date scheduled for Jul 28th.
4) Brandon Dubinsky, NYR: $3.5 million. (see Ryan Callahan) (UPDATE: signed a 4 year contract at $4.2M per season)
5) Ted Purcell, TB: $3.3 million. He's in the Clarke MacArthur zone, but he should get a bonus for having a terrific playoff. (UPDATE: signed a 2 year deal for $2.3M per, a great value for Tampa (this is what he'd be worth if the playoffs didn't count, but he was great. Leafs overpaid for MacArthur.))
6) Chris Campoli, Chi: $2.6 million. He's not worth Ian White's $2.8M, but he's arguably better than Methot ($3M) and Ericsson ($3.2M) which were both drastic over-payments. More offensive upside than Gorges. (UPDATE: very interesting, the arb date was moved up, Campoli was awarded $2.5M, and Chicago walked away from the deal, making him a UFA)
7) Blake Wheeler, Wpg: $2.5 million. I'd say he would command Kris Versteeg money ($3M per), but he lacks the Stanley Cup ring that earned Versteeg a performance bonus on his current contract. He should be in the Mason Raymond zone ($2.5M per), but the team will likely argue that he does not deserve to be paid more than Bryan Little at $2.4 million per season. (UPDATE: signed a 2 year deal at $2.55M per season)
8) Josh Gorges, Mtl: $2.5 million. Komisarek, Volchenkov, and Keith Ballard are all high end comparables who scored deals over $4M, but those were all over-payments. Gorges could go as high as Klesla and M.Greene at $2.9M, but $2.5M sounds about right. (UPDATE: signed a 1 year deal for exactly $2.5M per season)
9) Blake Comeau, NYI: $2 million. Talented young player that Islanders should like to lock up to a long term deal. Arbitration date scheduled for Aug 4th.
10) Andrew Cogliano, Ana: $2 million. Fairly priced at $1.5M, but I think he'll go as high as $2M in mediation care of his ironman streak. (UPDATE: signed a 3 year salary at an average price of $2.4M)
11) Andrej Sekera, Buf: $1.8 million. Certainly not in the Meszaros-M.Staal zone of $4M, but better than Kris Russell's $1.3M. Anton Stralman made $1.9M on his recently expired deal which would be a fair comparable, except that Stralman won't earn that on his next deal (2 weeks into free agency Anton is still looking for work). (UPDATE: signed to a 4 year deal at $2.7M per, and after the contribution that Sekera made to both my Fantasy Hockey teams, I should have had more respect for his value.)
12) Jannik Hansen, Van: $1.8 million. In a perfect world where points aren't a factor in Selke voting, Hansen would have should have been nominated. Arbitration date scheduled for Jul 29th.
13) Lauri Korpikoski, Phx: $1.5 million. He could argue for Setoguchi money ($3M), or maybe Sam Gagner money ($2.3M). If I were signing this young player to a long term contract I would offer him more than his value for next season. His price for just next season can't be more than a Rich Peverley or Andrew Cogliano even if he has high upside. (UPDATE: signed a 2 year deal at $1.8M per)
14) Brian Boyle, NYR: $1.2 million. I'd pay him the same money that Nick Foligno will be making next season. (UPDATE: signed a 3 year deal at $1.7M annually)