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Detroit Red Wings

Veleno Files for Arbitration to Settle Contract With Red Wings



Joe Veleno, Detroit Red Wings

Detroit Red Wings center Joe Veleno was among the 14 NHL players who filed for an arbitration hearing before Friday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

The list also includes Carolina’s center/wing Marty Necas, New York Rangers’ defenseman Ryan Lindgren,  Buffalo goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen and Columbus forward Kirill Marchenko.

Players who file for arbitration often agree to a contract prior to the hearing. Arbitration is designed to bring both sides together and it usually does.  Last year, 22 players filed for arbitration and only three actually had a hearing. That’s an 86.3% success rate.

Arbitration hearings can damage relationships because team officials have to point out a player’s flaws as they make their case for paying him less than he wants.

Veleno earned $825,000 last season and is likely asking for more than $2 million. He scored 12 goals last season. The comparables put him in the range of $1.9 million to $2.2 million.

GM Steve Yzerman will be trying to keep the Veleno deal on the lower side because he currently has just over $20 million in cap space to complete contracts with Veleno, Jonatan Berggren and then star players Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond.  The latter two players could take roughly $17 million of Yzerman’s current cap space.

Berggren is arbitration eligible, but opted not to go to arbitration. He spent most of his time with Grand Rapids this past season. He doesn’t have a strong case for earning much beyond the lower salary range.

Veleno’s argument will be that he is a versatile, speedy center who can be used on any line. He was on a scoring line when Dylan Larkin was injured last season.

After a hearing, an arbitrator rules within 48 hours. Teams can reject the arbitrator’s rule. If that occurs, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent.