Thrashers avoid arbitration with Eager

Not much of a surprise, only that it was announced so late Wednesday, but as I told you last week was most likely to happen soon the Thrashers did avoid arbitration with Ben Eager.

The deal with Eager is for one year and it avoids a hearing that was set for Aug. 3 for the restricted free agent.

The forward, obtained in a trade with Chicago in June, agreed to a deal worth $965,000.

Eager, 26, was part of the trade with the Stanley Cup champions that also brought Dustin Byfuglien, Brett Sopel and prospect Akim Aliu to the Thrashers.

Eager, a 6-foot-3, 227-pound left wing, had 16 points (including seven goals)in 60 games last season and was a plus-9. He led the Blackhawks with 120 penalty minutes. Eager also appeared in 18 playoff games for the Blackhawks and had three points (one goal, two assists). He also earned $965,000 last season.

Eager was a first-round pick (No. 23) by Phoenix in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

The Thrashers have an arbitration hearing with restricted free agent forward Andrew Ladd, obtained from Chicago in a later trade, set for Thursday. As I tweeted this morning, it looks like that hearing with take place.

27 comments Add your comment

Jason

July 28th, 2010
10:20 pm

Awesome! First (I think)

Russian

July 28th, 2010
10:23 pm

Good news. One year. I like it

Smoothie

July 28th, 2010
10:35 pm

At 26 y/o, why does he not go to arbitration and at least get his 5% raise? Presumably he was qualified before CHI traded him to us, but could we not at least honor the fact that he earned a little bump for his final year before UFA? I understand that he may feel as though he can earn a higher salary going into next summer as a UFA, but I’m perplexed by the lack of a raise.

At any rate, good to have him signed. Too bad we will be going to the court room to let a judge decide what Andrew Ladd is worth. Hope we at least get a 2 year deal out of the ruling.

Flames

July 28th, 2010
11:04 pm

I agree! At least 2 or 3 Years for Ladd! We need at least one more UFA. Morrison?

[...] First of all, if you haven’t yet heard…the Thrashers avoided a salary arbitration hearing by signing forward Ben Eager to a one-year $965,000 deal. C-Viv has all the particulars here. [...]

For The Record

July 29th, 2010
12:35 am

Can’t say I’m surprised Eager only got 1-yr after Bolts got 1 too. I took a look at all of the FA signings starting July 2nd:

Eighteen 1-yr deals, seven 2-yr deals, one 3-yr deal. After the frenzy of the first day, the terms are short for the leftovers (unless your last name is Kovalchuk). His 17-yr deal is only 1 year less than all of those eighteen 1-yr deals together and it equals the one 3-yr plus the seven 2-yr deals. I just find that amazing…

Not Blind

July 29th, 2010
3:14 am

I think Dudley is telling the players “Show me your stuff and THEN we will talk about longer contracts”.

The Real Thrash

July 29th, 2010
6:54 am

If we don’t sign these guys tp multi-year contracts we will be in the same position next year or having them walk as UFAs.

Sage of Bluesland

July 29th, 2010
7:46 am

Great news! Things are really coming together in Blueland!

Get The Puck Out

July 29th, 2010
9:09 am

Is that really you Sage?

kracker

July 29th, 2010
9:17 am

Tweet…BenThrashers According to @JeffMarek Mike Vernace has signed with the Lightning. He was with the Wolves last season.

GaVaHokie

July 29th, 2010
9:20 am

Ugh… that makes Eager UFA next summer. He might be trade bait come March.

Oh well, I’m going to try and not think about it too much, but it sounds like a guy who’s “eager” to test the free agent market as soon as possible.

Zombie Steve

July 29th, 2010
9:24 am

Optimism coming from Sage……what is the meaning of this?

J.B.

July 29th, 2010
9:29 am

Ladd settles with Atlanta as well prior to arbitration hearing.

J.B.

July 29th, 2010
9:29 am

1 year – 2.35 M

J-man

July 29th, 2010
9:34 am

Like Smoothie, I’m shocked that there wasn’t even a modest raise. I can only guess that Eager agreed to this because he wanted the option to leave next summer if he didn’t like things here. Not good. However, let’s be realistic. He is a 4th line forward. It’s not like we don’t have guys who can do that role or can’t get others to do it.

As others have pointed out, the downside of all these 1 year contracts is that guys who do work out and you want to keep will often leave for more money elsewhere. If you have that much doubt about the guy working out long term, why did you trade for him in the first place?

Joe Friday

July 29th, 2010
9:43 am

“I’m going to try and not think about it too much, but it sounds like a guy who’s “eager” to test the free agent market as soon as possible.”

Yep, very bad news, means the guy doesn’t want to be here (shocked, anyone?).

Come on, fellas. If you think that’s Sage, well, then I guess P.T. Barnum/Don Waddell is really right. There’s one maroon that only posts on Viv’s blog who is, let’s say, a little freakin weird?

Joe Friday

July 29th, 2010
9:45 am

only 1 year for Ladd as well? Ugh. How close is he to being a UFA. These guys don’t want to be here, great.

Joe Friday

July 29th, 2010
9:46 am

“If you have that much doubt about the guy working out long term, why did you trade for him in the first place?”

It takes two to tango/agree to a contract. I’d guess that we wanted to sign Eager and Ladd longer, but the player has to agree to a longer term contract and commit to being here longer term.

Not Blind

July 29th, 2010
10:34 am

I still think Dudley is telling these guys that longer contracts and big raises will be coming to those that play hard this season. This is the New Atlanta Thrashers. The guys that play hard will get rewarded. The ones that don’t will get to test FA next year. The FA market this year hasn’t been very rewarding to most FA’s and next year could be even worse.

Joe Friday

July 29th, 2010
11:09 am

“The guys that play hard will get rewarded.”

You have got to look at this from the player’s prespective. Ladd’s got 2 Cups on his resume. To think other clubs, that are competitive, won’t give him as much or more just isn’t realistic. What’s his punishment for not playing hard, getting traded? Or would that be a reward to him and why he only agreed to one year?

GaVaHokie

July 29th, 2010
11:22 am

I still think Dudley is telling these guys that longer contracts and big raises will be coming to those that play hard this season.

I’m usually the optimist, but I have to say, I’m not sure you trade the assets we traded and tell these guys they have to prove themselves with a one year contract.

We probably threatened them with the 2 year option in arbitration, so they settled on a one year deal. Surely, Eager could have gotten more from an arbitrator, he probably didn’t want to risk a two-year option. Why would a guy with arbitration rights accept a salary with no raise?

GaVaHokie

July 29th, 2010
11:31 am

FYI…

Ladd keeps his RFA status next summer.

Eager is UFA.

fes

July 29th, 2010
11:47 am

sweet. now let’s get little and bergfors signed.

Not Blind

July 29th, 2010
11:49 am

I AM being optimistic. I can’t help it, I like the direction the org appears to be heading. The ‘old guard’ [ aka the losers ] are gone. Waddell, Anderson, Letemin, Kovalpuke, Kozlov, etc are not here to inflict mediocracy on the team.

We now have a group of guys that are either young and hungry or older with a history of success. Come together as a team, play hard, play to your potential and everyone will reap the rewards in the future.

KLS1

July 29th, 2010
11:51 am

One year at a time…it will be ok, if we can make a run we will be buyers at the trade deadline and can look over the horizon from there.

If any of these guys walked next year would we be devastated? No.

Brendan

July 29th, 2010
12:57 pm

I think this is a good contract for Eager.