Restricted free agents who are arbitration eligible have until today at 5pm et/3pm mt. to file for the court proceeding, if they wish to do so. The Colorado Avalanche have two players in this situation - Matt Nieto and Patrik Nemeth.
Nieto is coming off of a one-year, $1 million dollar contract. The 25-year old winger finished last season with a career high 15 goals in 74 games. As the season went on, he became a solid part of the team’s checking line and will likely be used in a similar role next season. He will likely be looking for a contract similar to the 3 year $8.4 million contract the team gave Matt Calvert last week.
Patrik Nemeth is the other RFA that has a chance to file for arbitration today. This is an interesting case. Nemeth is a player that passes the eye test for many, but when you look at his underlying numbers, he’s quite underwhelming. Joe Sakic has spoken in recent weeks about wanting Nemeth to return, but since then, the team has gone out and signed Ian Cole - a better version of Nemeth.
With the Cole signing, Nemeth is bumped down the depth chart and likely becomes the team’s 7th defenseman. He is coming off of a contract that paid him $900k.
The Avs are likely looking to get Nemeth on a short term deal. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him get something in the neighborhood of $1.5m for a year or two. If he is looking for much more than that, there is a good chance the team walks away from his rights.
Once a player files, they still have until the arbitrator announces their decision to reach a contract extension with their team.
While we wait for further news on these two, let’s take a look back at a pretty fun moment from last season.