Muckler might have his hands full

From the NHLPA, the following Sens filed for salary arbitration today:

Martin Havlat

Chris Kelly

Chris Neil

Peter Schaefer

Antoine Vermette

I can see Schaefer, Neil, and Vermette getting very good deals. All three had career seasons and in the case of Schaefer is a year away from UFA status, so perhaps he's hoping to go, get a one-year deal, and then test the open market next July. They need to lock him up long-term.

How much it'll cost, I don't know, but unless it's something ridiculously extravagent, Muckler better do it. A few months ago I would've thought a deal close to Mike Fisher's ($4.5 million over three years) would suffice but it might take $2 million now.

With Vermette, an interesting stat that will play a big part in what he gets, since stats are all this nonsense is based on, is that he had the highest goal-per-minute average of all NHLers, racking up 21 goals. Perhaps his new contract will force the Sens to make him more than a fourth-liner.

And why is Chris Kelly able to file for arbitration? He's had one season in the league. Is it because of his age (25)? This new CBA continues to amaze me.

As for Havlat, who probably has his bags packed and house up for sale, I can't see how he could get a lot in this process. I mean, yeah, he's talented, but that doesn't mean anything in arbitration. He missed almost the whole season. How can he make a case for a big payday? I suppose they might point to his 30 goals in 2003-04 but that was so long ago, and in such a different climate, I fail to see how it's revelant. I thought Havlat blew his chance for a big contract when he got hurt but apparently he and his agent feel otherwise.

It's worth noting that rarely do all the players who file for arbitration actually . Most of the time it's a formality and a deal is worked out before hand, often right to the deadline (remember Marian Hossa signing his ticket out of town a mere hours before his hearing last season?)

And boy do I not envy Darcy Reiger. Looking at the list of RFAs the Sabres have makes me feel bad for them.