Hockey World Blog

Red Wings Could Lose Star Player After Unsuccessful Contract Talks


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It’s beginning to look more and more like the Detroit Red Wings might be without one of their star players when the 2018-19 season rolls around.

As Ken Holland and company turn their attention to the team’s own restricted free agents, Tomas Tatar has been receiving a lot of attention. After failing to quickly come to terms on a new long-term deal, however, Tatar filed for arbitration. Now, according to a recent report, Tatar says if a one-year deal is handed out through the arbitration process, it will probably be his last one in Detroit.

“Detroit offered me a contract, and even with a few options — for a year, or four or five. We’re still talking about the length, and of course, the financial amount of the contract,” Tatar told website (translation via Kukla’s Korner). “However, we aren’t going anywhere, and there’s been time enough.

“Arbitration is the last option, I have to sign off, it’s just a mandatory contract. Unless I agree with Detroit, I’ll go to the court (salary arbitration), where they’ll give me a year’s contract. That would probably be my last season in Detroit. We’ll see in a few days or weeks before it all comes together.”

It’s hard to blame Tatar for holding out for more money. After seeing fat contracts given away to unproductive players such as Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Frans Nielsen, and Danny DeKeyser, Tatar wants to see a big payday himself. He has been a 20 goal scorer for the Red Wings for the past three seasons, scoring 75 goals during that time while only missing a single game.

Because of his offensive game, Tatar’s camp is looking to receive roughly $6 million per season according to The Detroit News. Meanwhile, the Red Wings seem prepared to only hand out approximately $5 million, likely not wanting to edge too close to captain Henrik Zetterberg’s salary.

Should Tatar and the Wings not agree to a long-term deal and instead be forced to accept an arbitrator’s one-year contract, it’s likely that Tatar will be traded away next spring for prospects andor draft picks. Either way, it’s becoming more clear that Tatar will not be part of the Wings long term plans.

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