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Playing With Fire - LaRose and Arbitration

Chad LaRose filed for salary arbitration on Saturday with 14 other players in the NHL. Apparently, LaRose is unhappy with the qualifying offer that the Canes submitted to him.

The pesky forward earned 500K last season, so the qualifying offer would put him at 550K for this year. (The qualifying offer includes a mandatory 10% raise.) Carolina General Manager, Jim Rutherford has stated several times that the budget is tight and the team does not have much more to give LaRose.

If the arbitration award ends up being significantly higher than 550K, then the Canes could walk away from the award and the player, leaving Chad as an unrestricted free agent. The big question at that time will be, is LaRose worth any more than 550K to any other team in the NHL?

It wouldn't be the first time that a player priced themselves out of the market. A couple of years ago, David Tanabe took the Boston Bruins to arbitration and won a nice contract award. But the Bruins walked away from it, and Tanabe was unemployed for a bit before the Canes signed him to a much lower deal than the arbitration amount, and probably lower than what the Bruins had offered originally.

Chad should be very careful because he could be playing with fire by pushing for his maximum value. He certainly doesn't want to burn any bridges with the Canes during this cumbersome process.

If the price gets too high for LaRose, there are plenty of other "pesky forwards" out there who are still looking for a home from which the Canes could choose. We will take a look at some of those later this week.

I'm on the last day of my vacation, (still out of town), but I will be returning in the evening and it will be back to normal again around here soon. The prospects are in town for the prospect camp this week, so we will be reviewing that next.