The NHL announced the dates for the salary arbitration hearings and two Buffalo Sabres are involved. Derek Roy has his case set for July 27th and Nathan Paetsch has is case set for August 2nd. This gives the Sabres about 11 days to sign derek Roy to a multi-year contract. I think coming to an agreement with Paetsch will be a little bit early. Sabres fans have some bad memories of the salary arbitration process from last season.
Last season the Sabres had numerous players who filed for arbitration but none were more publicized than Daniel Briere and J.P. Dumont. Daniel Briere was awarded $5 million for one season and the Sabres ended up walking away from J.P. Dumont's award. Dumont immediately became an Unrestricted free agent and signed with the Nashville Predators.
Derek Roy is expected to get a pretty hefty raise if he goes to arbitration. Darcy Regier has a lot of work to do in the next 11 days to make sure it doesn't get to that point. Last season Roy had 21 goals and 42 assists in 75 games while managing an impressive plus 37. I wouldn't be surprised if Roy gets somewhere in the range of $4-$4.5 million for one season. I think Darcy will figure out a way to lock up Derek Roy for a couple of seasons. It hasn't been a good offseason for the Sabres and they don't want it to become any worse.
I think will be a little bit easier to get Nathan Paetsch to sign before his hearing. I don't think that Paetsch has a lot of leverage based on his lack of experience. Last season was the first full season in Buffalo for Paetsch and he did have a solid season. Paetsch played in 63 games and had two goals and 22 assists and was a plus 10. Paetsch also helped the power play out when it was struggling.
I'm hoping to be announcing a couple of signings in the upcoming days. I'll try my best to keep you up to date on the status of these two players. If I have some luck I'll have plenty of coverage in the upcoming days.