The Calgary Flames had a busy schedule at the start of the month of July when five of their players were set to undergo arbitration in the later weeks. However, on Wednesday, the Canadian team managed to avoid arbitration with another one of their players.
The Flames signed forward Mark Jankowski to a two-year, $3.35 million contract on Wednesday, avoiding arbitration. The news was first reported by TSN, as the team also confirmed the news on their social media accounts.
The centre's arbitration hearing was scheduled for Friday.
The 23-year-old forward tallied 17 goals and posted 25 points in 72 games with the Flames last season. He took part in just one game for the Flames the previous year.
Jankowski will count for $1.675 million against the Flames salary cap this season and leaves the team with just under $5.6 million in cap space, according to the information provided by Cap Friendly. The Flames have five restricted free agents left to sign in Garnet Hathaway, Noah Hanifin, Brett Kulak, David Rittich and Hunter Shinkaruk. Rittich is scheduled to have an arbitration hearing on Saturday, while Hathaway is slated to meet with the team on Monday.
However, the process with Kulak has been quite a messy one. The Flames, the defenseman and their respective representatives sat down on Monday with the arbitrator this morning and Postmedia’s Wes Gilbertson says that the parties emerged from the meeting a few hours ago. This all took place after Calgary attempted to get rid of the blue liner by placing him on waivers last week. As of now, both sides are reportedly $500,000 apart, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
It was easier for Jankowski and maybe it's the reason why things have been rougher with Kulak. The Flames might have chosen to focus on Jankowski, who was selected in the first round, 21st overall by the Flames back in 2012 NHL Entry draft.
Since GM Brad Treliving became general manager in 2014, six Flames players have filed for arbitration. Only one, who at the time was Lance Bouma, made it to the hearing, and all six ended with a settlement before the arbitrator’s verdict.
A decision on Kulak should be coming today as the 48-hour window is coming to an end...