Courtesy of Point Park University

Aston-Reese elects salary arbitration

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Zach Aston-Reese. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Zach Aston-Reese has filed for salary arbitration, the NHLPA announced on Friday.

Friday was the deadline for players to elect salary arbitration. 40 players around the league chose to do so, with Aston-Reese being the only member of the Penguins to elect arbitration. The deadline for teams to file for salary arbitration is Saturday at 5 p.m.

Arbitration is a way for players and teams to settle contract disputes. An arbitrator listens to the case from both the player and team and sets the player's salary. It is one of the few negotiating tools that a restricted free agent like Aston-Reese has.

Aston-Reese is eligible for salary arbitration because he signed his entry-level contract at age 23 and has accrued two years of professional experience. Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger were the only Penguins restricted free agents eligible to elect salary arbitration, as Marcus Pettersson does not have enough professional experience.

I have a more detailed explanation on the full salary arbitration process -- and the reason why players like Aston-Reese elect arbitration -- right here.

The website hockey-graphs.com projects players’ future salaries based on their current salary figures, salary figures around the league, and the players’ statistics from the previous season. The market suggests that a player like Aston-Reese is likely to command a two-year deal with an average annual value of $1.2 million. Contracts signed by comparable players as restricted free agents are admissible evidence in arbitration hearings.

The team and player can reach a deal before the arbitration process starts, and the player would not go to arbitration.

Arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to Aug. 4.

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