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Lehner, Larsson to file for arbitration

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Two of Buffalo’s RFAs are heading to salary arbitration.

Pittsburgh Penguins v Buffalo Sabres

The deadline for NHL restricted free agents to file for arbitration is today at 5pm, and two of the Sabres RFAs will exercise that option, according to a report from The Buffalo News.

Both Robin Lehner and Johan Larsson will be heading to salary arbitration, which will take place sometime in the next few weeks. Both Lehner and Larsson were given qualifying offers that were essentially the same salary they made last year - $3.15 million for Lehner and $997,500 for Larsson.

Obviously, both guys feel they deserve a raise with the decision to head to arbitration. In Lehner’s case, posting a .920 save percentage last season (12th in the NHL) will be his bargaining chip. For Larsson, scoring six goals in 36 games last year will likely be his best asset, but suffering a season-ending injury in December will likely hurt his case.

Here’s what Sabres GM Jason Botterill had to say about Lehner, courtesy of TBN:

“Obviously, it still continues to be a feeling-out process for myself and Robin trying to get to know each other, but we’ve had a good couple conversations, and Craig Oster [Lehner’s agent] and I have a very good relationship. We’ve worked on many a deal together, and I certainly have a firm belief that we’ll get something done here over the next month or so.”

Arbitration hearings will take place toward the end of July and into early August, so we won’t know more until then. There’s no news as of yet on the other Buffalo RFAs, Zemgus Girgensons, Nathan Beaulieu and Evan Rodrigues, so they will likely be signing their qualifying offers shortly.

Please leave your 100+ comment Lehner arguments in the comments.