As expected, the biggest hockey news of the weekend was the announcement that 17 NHL players have filed for salary arbitration, including new Vancouver Canucks forward Jason Dickinson.
There are also two team-elected arbitration cases, for Travis Sanheim in Philadelphia and Kevin Fiala in Minnesota.
Arbitration hearings will be scheduled between Aug. 11 and 26, and there is a small change in procedure in the updated CBA. Previously, teams and their players could reach an agreement any time up till when the arbitrator delivered his ruling, even after the hearing was complete. Under the new agreement, terms must be agreed upon before the hearing begins. Once the two sides begin the process, the arbitrator has full control.
Both sides are required to submit a brief which outlines the details of their negotiating position, at least 48 hours before the scheduled hearing. So during those last two days, each side can look over the other side's arguments and, most likely, come to an agreement.
Last year, out of 26 cases
, the only one that went to a hearing and was settled by an arbitrator was Tyler Bertuzzi with Detroit. Jake Virtanen was also one of the 26. He settled ahead of time, on the two-year deal with the cap hit of $2.55 million which was bought out by the Canucks last week.
Looking at possible comparables for Dickinson, I ran the CapFriendly comparable tool
, using Dickinson's status as a 26-year-old left-shot center with 63 points in 221 career NHL games, who has filed for arbitration. My starting point was a four-year contract with a cap hit of $2.5 million.
The best matches that came back were Oskar Sundqvist and Ivan Barbashev of the Blues, and Teddy Blueger of the Penguins. Sundqvist signed his current deal in 2019, but the other two were just inked over the last few weeks.
Barbashev turns 26 in December and his numbers are a little better than Dickinson's — 89 points in 270 games. But he had just 12 points in 38 games last season while Dickinson had 15 in 51.
On July 30, Barbashev signed a two-year deal with the Blues, with a cap hit of $2.25 million.
Blueger will turn 27 on August 15. He has 54 points in 140 career NHL games and was the best of this group offensively last season, with 22 points in 43 games. His new deal was signed on July 14 and is also for two years, at a $2.2 million cap hit.
Arbitration awards can only be for one or two years, but player and club can elect to go longer if they work something out between them. If the Canucks choose to buy some UFA years from Dickinson, that would probably make the cap hit go up a big higher than the numbers cited above.
Sundqvist's deal was signed for four years in 2019, when he was 25. He got $2.75 million a year. Alex Kerfoot got $3.5 million over four, also in 2019, and Radek Faksa got $3.25 million from the Stars before the beginning of the 2020-21 season.
That should give us some kind of idea of what to expect for Dickinson.
Now, let's finish off the introductions to the Canucks' new depth signings.
If you missed it, you can get introduced to Justin Dowling, Brad Hunt and Devante Stephens here
and to Sheldon Dries, Brady Keeper, Phil Di Giuseppe and Nic Petan here
Today: Kyle Burroughs, Sheldon Rempal and John Stevens
• Kyle Burroughs - right defense - signed to a two-year, two-way deal that pays $750,000 at the NHL level and has a guaranteed minimum of $450,000 in the AHL in 2021-22 and $500,000 in 2022-23
Burroughs is another local boy, a 25-year-old who started his hockey career in Langley and Aldergrove before catching on with the Regina Pats, where he eventually became captain for a season and a half.
Drafted by the Islanders in the seventh round in 2013, Burroughs split his first pro season between the ECHL and the AHL's Bridgeport Sound Tigers in 2015-16, then went on to play four more years with the Sound Tigers. In the 2019-20 season, he served as the team's captain.
Burroughs was good for 20-ish points a year, and consistently logged about 100 penalty minutes.
For a player who's listed at 6'0" and 194 pounds, he seems to have some snarl in his game. He does have a fairly lengthy bio page at HockeyFights.com
Last October, Burroughs was traded to Colorado in exchange for winger A.J. Greer, who was then flipped to the Devils in April as part of the trade-deadline package that brought Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac to Long Island.
Burroughs spent a good chunk of last season on the taxi squad, but also got into his first five NHL games with the Avs, where he tallied one assist and a fight with Nick Bjugstad. He also played 11 games with the AHL Colorado Eagles, where he had four points.
• Sheldon Rempal - forward - signed to a one-year, two-way contract that pays $750,000 in the NHL and $125,000 at the AHL level
Not to be confused with Sheldon Dries, the centre, Sheldon Rempal is an undersized 25-year-old winger from Calgary. Listed at 5'10" and 165 pounds, he came up through the AJHL and the BCHL, and had three productive seasons with the Nanaimo Clippers before spending two years at Clarkson University.
At the end of his sophomore season, where he had 23 goals and 46 points in 39 games with Clarkson, the Los Angeles Kings signed him to a two-year, two-way free-agent contract. He didn't put up any points during his seven NHL games with the Kings in the 2018-19 season, but was productive over his two years with the Ontario Reign.
For the 2020-21 season, he signed as a free agent with the Carolina Hurricanes. Once again, no points in three NHL games and 14 points in 25 games with the Chicago Wolves, where he spent most of the year.
• John Stevens - centre - signed to a one-year, two-way contract that pays $750,000 at the NHL level, with a minimum guarantee of $115,000 in the minors
One of the few holdovers from the Utica Comets who will be relocating to Abbotsford this fall, John Stevens spent the last two seasons with the Comets on AHL contracts.
He's back on a two-way deal for the second time in his career. Undrafted, he was signed by the Islanders as a college free agent at the conclusion of his senior year at Northeastern, when he served as team captain.
In 2015-16, he wore an 'A' when Northeastern captured the Hockey East championship — and was teammates, of course, with Adam Gaudette as well as current NHLer Zach Aston-Reese. His younger brother, winger Nolan Stevens, was also on that team — and on the Comets in 2020-21.
And the bloodlines run even deeper. Both Stevens boys are the sons of John Stevens, the one-time head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers and Los Angeles Kings who has been an assistant to Rick Bowness in Dallas for the last two seasons.
John the younger is now 27, and has good size at 6'2" and 204 pounds. He has never played an NHL game, and has 51 points across 165 games over six seasons in the AHL.