Rabid Habs

8 Days Until Lars Eller’s Arbitration Date!

Habs Lars Eller high five with Daniel Brière

All Habs fans are waiting for news on Subban’s contract negotiation with the Montreal Canadiens…but what about Lars Eller’s negotiation?

Sometimes it’s not just about the money or the number of year, sometimes it’s about getting a chance.

I expect the 2007 #13 overall pick to go through the nasty business of arbitration set for July 25th. Unlike Subban, I even think Eller is eagerly waiting for that day. The reasons are fairly simple.

For starter, the big Dane isn’t looking for a long term deal, at least, not after a down year where he didn’t have many chances to prove himself. Getting a short term deal makes a lot more sense for Montreal’s 3rd line center.

His comments at the end of the year about wanting to stay in Montreal for a long time as a top 6 player showed what’s important to him. It’s not all about the money, it’s about getting his chance. A long term deal with an organisation that never really gave him that chance is probably out of the question at this point…unless Marc Bergevin has some Jedi’s mind trick to convince him that his chance is right around the corner.

Considering that a long term deal might not be a possibility, arbitration would be the best way to go to get paid on a one or two year deal. He wouldn’t be the first player to get more money than anticipated with arbitration.

What did Lars Eller do in the last two years (duration of his last contract) to deserve a significant raise?

-2012-2013: Outproduced Montreal’s top offensive center from the 3rd line. In the last decade, this is the first time it happened in Montreal…and probably in the rest of the NHL.

-2012-2013: As a center, he finished 35th for points total, 21st for hits and 19th for blocked shots.

-2013-2014: As a center, he finished 25th for hits, 16th for blocked shots and 24th for faceoffs.

-2013-2014: Outproduced both of Montreal’s top 6 center during the playoffs, that’s also something that you rarely see in today’s NHL.

That’s leverage right there…maybe not enough to get $5M but that might be enough to get more than the expected $2,5M – $3M from most Habs fans who only look at his season of 26 points….which is not that bad on a team where both top 6 center recorded 52 and 43 points each with at least twice the amount of time spent on the powerplay and better linemates.

On the other hand, Marc Bergevin might want to take advantage of the situation to lock Eller for a medium to long term deal at a very friendly cap hit at around $3M.

Worst case scenario: Eller doesn’t improve and stays one of the top 3rd line center in the NHL. A big 2-way center that can hit, block shots and good on face-offs at around $3M wouldn’t be a problem for any team.

Best case scenario: Eller develops into that big top 6 center and become a bargain on Bergevin’s payroll for a couple of years to come.

It’s a win-win situation for GM Marc Bergevin.

For Lars Eller, it’s another story. Why would he sign a long term deal in Montreal under a coach who never believed in him and even benched him after his first game as Montreal’s head coach?

After being traded, Daniel Briere said the following: “Every coach has his style of player that he likes and those he doesn’t, I was part of the group [Therrien] didn’t like as much.”

I think it’s fair to say that Lars Eller might’ve been in that group of players that Therrien didn’t seem to like. For that reason, Eller might want to get the shortest deal available and make sure he will have a chance to prove himself eventually…even if it’s not with the Montreal Canadiens.

8 days until Lars Eller’s arbitration date.

Let’s still hope for a happy ending!

One Comment

  1. Habsfan1

    July 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    To whom it may concern, I just found out about your site while reading comments over at HIO . If you know anyone at Hockey Inside Out, can you please tell them that on their petition vs Rogers for not televising Habs games for fans out West, someone is writing on the “Comments” section of the petition for fans Not to sign it..I don’t understand why..If you visit HIO, a fan named Habsfanin Burlington has the Link to the petition under all of his comments..I admire what they are doing and noone should be interferring.