In a bit of unsurprising news, Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar has filed for player-elected salary arbitration according to Freep reporter Helene St. James.
St. James also reports that Tatar could be asking for a multi-year deal with an AAV of around $5 million. If the Red Wings aren’t playing ball with the idea, Tatar would essentially get a one-year contract through arbitration which would take him to UFA eligibility next offseason. I see both sides at a bit of a crossroads here — Tatar wants to get paid as he deserves being a proven and consistent 20-goal-scorer, but the Red Wings want to get value out of him as a restricted free agent. There is a possibility that the Wings hand him a five-year deal worth $25 million, but Tatar could likely wait out another year and test the free market where he could likely get more money.
The Red Wings have little cap flexibility to throw around unless they plan to make moves, and they still need to sign another RFA in Andreas Athanasiou.
Whichever way you look at it, the Red Wings will very likely be departing with some of their younger players in the next couple of seasons so that they can commit money to other younger players like Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin. Two names that come to mind are both Tatar and goaltender Petr Mrazek.
Tatar’s agent and the Red Wings can continue to negotiate as they await a hearing to be scheduled.