A lot of people around the league are waiting with fainted breath as arbitration hearings begin this week.
Among the big names up for arbitration are Sabres forward Derek Roy. Roy, coming off a 63 pt season last year, will assuredly get a nice raise from the 650,000 he made last season.
But what are players like him really worth?
Personally, I feel Roy is worth somewhere in the 3.5-4 million range. If Chris Drury, who had 69 points last season, can command a 7 million dollar salary, then Roy should surely get something in the 4 mil range.
And he is well worth it. The economics of the league warrant that. 60 point scorers are now 3-4 million dollar players. The same will likely happen for Michael Ryder in Montreal, while Mike Camalleri in LA will likely head into the 5 mil range after a very quiet 80 pt season last year.
The contracts of Scott Gomez, Ryan Smyth and the former Sabres captains have made this possible for smaller name guys to "break the bank". But in reality, most are now getting paid somewhere in the area of fair. While others could be looked at as solid steals.
If Roy were to get or sign for something in the 4 mil range long term, the deal could prove to be a steal by the end of the second year. With the departures of the captains, Roy will see top flight ice time, especially if he continues to center Thomas Vanek.
The deals we see this week could very well prove to be the steals of next season. And for those upset about what Derek Roy may get, just think. By next year, this could be a steal.