Outside of Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi(notes), New York Islanders winger Matt Moulson's(notes) arbitration hearing promised to be the most fascinating of the offseason; and, potentially one of the most painful.
As we wrote last week:
Moulson made $575,000 last season, which breaks down to $19,167 for each of his 30 goals. Yes, this man will be getting a raise. The question: How much does he deserve? Is he a one-hit wonder? Or should he be paid like a 30-goal scorer? Does he get Clarke MacArthur(notes) money or Jussi Jokinen money?
We predicted he'd get signed before arbitration, and that's exactly what the Islanders did Tuesday morning: Giving Moulson a one-year, $2.45 million deal, according to Katie Strang of Newsday.
It's an interesting deal on two fronts. First, for all the talk about how much Islander management believed that Moulson wasn't going to be a flash-in-the-pan offensive player, this is a one-year commitment to the player. Second, if Moulson is the real deal and hits the 30-goal mark again ... well, as Chris Botta notes, it means unrestricted free agency next summer.
Here are the players who scored between 30-35 last season, and their salaries for 2010-11.
Bobby Ryan(notes), Anaheim Ducks (35) - $1.9 million; restricted free agent
Alex Burrows, Vancouver Canucks (35) - $2 million
Anze Kopitar(notes), Los Angeles Kings (34) - $6.8 million
Rick Nash(notes), Columbus Blue Jackets (33) - $7.8 million
Nicklas Backstrom(notes), Washington Capitals (33) - $6.7 million
Jeff Carter(notes), Philadelphia Flyers (33) - $5 million
Dustin Penner(notes), Edmonton Oilers (32) - $4.25 million
Jarome Iginla(notes), Calgary Flames (32) - $7 million
Mike Richards(notes), Philadelphia Flyers (31) - $5.75 million
Mikael Samuelsson(notes), Vancouver Canucks (30) - $2.5 million
Patric Hornqvist(notes), Nashville Predators (30) - $700,000; restricted free agent
Patrick Kane(notes), Chicago Blackhawks (30) - $6.3 million
Phil Kessel(notes), Toronto Maple Leafs (30) - $5.4 million
Jussi Jokinen(notes), Carolina Hurricanes (30) - $1.7 million
So Moulson's more than Jussi, less than Sammy. Seems about right for a guy that just arrived.