Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It's a Keenan kinda Christmas

So, I don't pretend to know all that much about how arbitration works, and others — based mostly on the Briere decision — have certainly pointed out that it's been a surprisingly flawed process thus far... but how the hell does Jay Bouwmeester, a 22-year-old No. 1 defenceman who scored 46 points on an assy Florida team, get a measly two-year, $4.35 award from an arbitration system which has up until now been acting like they have a license to print money?

As far as I know, arbitration is supposed to determine fair market value. If anyone can explain to me how one could reasonably expect this blue-chip, future franchise d-man would only fetch $2-million on the open market, I'd love to hear it.

Yes, it's a substantial raise from last year, but I can't help but feel Bouwmeester got screwed. Keenan would be doing backflips if could remember how to feel joy.


Steve said...

"I don't portend to know all that much about how arbitration works"

I don't think that word means what you think it means.

But yeah, that one strikes me as a head-scratcher, expecially given what the market for defensemen's been like. Maybe the used Jason Smith as a comparable - he *is* a captain, after all.

Chris! said...

Ahh! No it doesn't. Meant pretend. Fixing so as not to look illiterate. Thanks, wordlord.

MattM said...

Keenan should send Bobby Clarke a fruit basket. Pitkanen's ridiculously low contract is very likely what set the best comparable for Bouwmeester.

Doogie2K said...

Why does Buowmeester look so damned much like Fernando Pisani in that picture? It's kinda scary.

Scarlett said...

Wow Keenan got quite the early xmas gift. Totally underpaid, but that's nice to see instead of all the overpayments.

Rob and the Girls said...

doogie...That's the first thing I thought when I saw the picture. It's crazy actually.

Paul said...

I think it's because Bouwmeester hasn't been in the league that long. There is a lot of different evidence an arbitrator can take into account...I'd say the fact he hasn't been in the league that long and the fact the Panthers sucked last year might have had an effect on his salary arbitration.

Here is what an arbitrator is allowed to take into account:

a/ the overall performance, including official stats prepared by the league of the player in the previous season or seasons

b/ the number of games played by the player, his injuries or illnesses during the preceding seasons

c/the length of service of the plaer in the legue and/or with the club

d/ the overall contribution of the player to the competitive success or failure of his club in the preceding season

e/ any special qualities of leadership or public appeal not inconsistent with the fulfillment of his responsibilities as a playing member of his team

f/ the overall performance in the previous season or seasons of any player who is alleged to be comparable to the party player whose salary is in dispute

g/ The compensation of any player who is alleged to be comparable to the party player, provided, however, that in applying this or any of the above, the salary arbitrator shall not consider a player(s) to be comparable to the party player unless a party to the arbitration has contended that the player(s) is comparable: nor shall the salary arbitrator consider the compensation or performance of a player(s) unless a party to the arbitration has contended tht hte player(s) is comparable.

paul said...

All that or Keenan has a "thing" with the arbitrators. Last year Luongo's club option arbitration went in favour of the Panthers, as well.

Anonymous said...

arbitrators can now only choose one figure i.e. the players figure that he submits or the teams figure.they cant use there discretion and choose a middle $ briere won and bouwmeester lost. pretty fuckin' stupid but hardly suprisin' given the nhl's proclivity for stupidity.


paul said...


I'm not so sure that is correct. I know it's been widely reported that that is the case, but I can't find it in the CBA for the life of me. I've even read an article where the author suggests that its a media myth that an arbitrator has to pick one or the other. He challenged anyone to find that clause in the CBA and I read through every paragraph of the arbitration rules and couldn't find it.

Like ghosts and psychics, I'm skeptical on that one until someone shows it to be true.

Earl Sleek said...

Yeah, does anyone know:
a) what Gomez asked for, and
b) what Lou asked for,

because it seems to me that neither answer will be $5 M / year.

bigleaguer said...

Arbitrators mostly use past performance to come up with their salary decisions. Bouwmeester's been pretty good, but his cache as a player is his future, and that doesn't enter into it much during arbitration. Briere, on the other hand, was close to a 100-point guy, when pro-rated over a full season (which the stat guys love to do, by the way.) Briere wins because he's got more actual stuff to present to an arbitrator, while Bouwmeester "loses" because his actual stuff is only better-than-average at this point of his career.

Anonymous said...

you must be right paul, although i did read that somewhere, it doesn't make alot of sense. it would be the equivalent of putting 2 bowls of dog food, one marked $5 mil. and one marked $2.5 mil. and seeing which one rover eats out of. if these arbitrators are supposedly smart people they must be given more personal discretion than "choose one # or the other".