Islanders Poulin One Of 20 To File For Arbitration

Posted on Jul 5 2014 - 8:06pm by Andy Graziano

Just when things it seems could not get any more weird in the days following the opening of the National Hockey League’s annual silly season, they almost always seem to find a way.

Today, twenty players, according to the National Hockey League players association, filed for salary arbitration, a very dangerous legal process in which an independent arbitrator hears both the players side (why he deserves more than what the team is currently offering) and the organization (why the player deserves much less than he is asking).

Dangerous though? You might be wondering why I feel that way.

Imagine you are reigning Norris trophy winner Duncan Keith for example and you are a restricted free agent. You receive a qualifying offer from your club, the Chicago Blackhawks to maintain your rights. Since you are asking for much more than the required 100 to 110% raise from the previous season, you decline. There are two options.

One, work out the details of a new deal as per normal within 14 days of the original QO being declined or two, file for arbitration and take the case to court.

You go in guns ablaze, arguing you are the next coming of Bobby Orr and deserve a significant raise based upon your last season performance and the years prior, fulfilling your contract obligations.

The club counters with why you are Douglas Murray (no offense sir), one of the worst possession defenseman in all the land and most compared to a traffic cone in most circles around the league.

Feelings are damaged, reputations run through the mud. Sometimes, those things are not easily patched up and the players relationship with the organization is permanently damaged.

In the case of the Islanders, one has to wonder why Kevin Poulin would accept such a 50/50 fate and leave himself prone to the inevitable arguments by the team as to why he did not live up to his lofty potential last season and is ticketed for the American Hockey League this season after Garth Snow signed Jaroslav Halak and Chad Johnson in the off-season.

While it’s true, statistically, that almost 80% of the cases never make it to court and are settled prior, can Poulin really expect to win this argument when all the numbers he accumulated, or better yet, failed to accumulate, don’t support it?

It’s just another curious story in the saga that is manning the crease for the New York Islanders. The fanbase can only hope that Halak and Johnson perform where it’s needed most; on the ice and move the club forward in a position that is growing more important by the minute to any win/loss record.

The complete list is below. Players have until July 6 to file and hearings are scheduled to be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4.

Arizona Coyotes

  • Brandon McMillan

Boston Bruins

  • Matt Bartkowski

Calgary Flames

  • Joe Colborne

Dallas Stars

  • Cameron Gaunce
  • Antoine Roussel

Florida Panthers

  • Jimmy Hayes

Los Angeles Kings

  • Dwight King

Minnesota Wild

  • Justin Fontaine

Montreal Canadiens

  • Lars Eller
  • P.K. Subban

Nashville Predators

  • Mattias Ekholm

New York Islanders

  • Kevin Poulin

New York Rangers

  • Derick Brassard
  • Chris Kreider
  • Mats Zuccarello

Ottawa Senators

  • Derek Grant

Pittsburgh Penguins

  • Nick Spaling

San Jose Sharks

  • Jason Demers

Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Cody Franson
  • James Reimer


Andy Graziano

Andy Graziano

Founder / Editor-in-chief at Islanders Insight
Andy lives in central New Jersey with his wife of 24 years and 2 children. He is a credentialed member of the New York Islanders media as part of the exclusive blog box and founder of Islanders Insight. He played and coached the great game of hockey for over 35 years and has written for THW as well as Fansided.
Andy Graziano


Credentialed Islanders journalist - Founder & Editor-in-chief for as well as a proud member of the NYI Blog Box.
@IslesFan83 it's a long season. Spite of recent success, others weren't going to lay down. Peaks and valleys. - 42 mins ago
Andy Graziano