(Photo: nhl.com)

With the NHL Awards and Draft over and the “Free Agent Frenzy” period calmed down to a dull roar, the main focus for the NHL has become addressing individual players’ salaries while finding a way for teams to fit under this year’s $69 million salary cap.

For some players, this financial tug-of-war has led them to file for salary arbitration.  Basically, if a player (specifically, an RFA) disagrees with his current salary for the upcoming season and feels he should earn more money, he and his team can each propose an amount and argue their cases at a hearing.  The deadline for filing arbitration was July 5th, and the hearings come later in the summer, generally at the end of July and into August.  During the hearings, a neutral third party listens to each side and then tries to find a happy medium and settle the player’s salary.  If both the player and his team agree on this amount, problem solved.  If not, the player may become an unrestricted free agent.  Either way, a final decision must be made within 48 hours of the hearing’s conclusion.

(Of course, if the salary can be settled before the hearing, both sides can save themselves the trouble of having to go through the entire arbitration process.  There’s plenty more to focus on in the offseason, after all.)

Twenty players have filed for salary arbitration for this upcoming season.  And with the salary cap set lower than expected for 2014-15, the hockey world could see some fairly big moves in the next few weeks.

Here’s the current list of players:

Arizona CoyotesBrandon McMillan

Boston BruinsMatt Bartkowski

Calgary FlamesJoe Colborne

Dallas StarsCameron Gaunce, Antoine Roussel

Florida PanthersJimmy Hayes

LA KingsDwight King

Minnesota WildJustin Fontaine

Montreal CanadiensLars Eller, P.K. Subban

Nashville PredatorsMattias Ekholm

New York IslandersKevin Poulin

New York RangersDerick Brassard, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello

Ottawa SenatorsDerek Grant

Pittsburgh PenguinsNick Spaling

San Jose SharksJason Demers

Toronto Maple LeafsCody Franson, James Reimer

For a more detailed explanation of salary arbitration, click here.

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