With the Calgary Flames’ first arbitration hearing of the summer involving Lance Bouma just two days away, both sides have filed their cases with the League office. As expected, there is a pretty decently-sized gap between the two sides.
In #Flames arbitration case against Lance Bouma, club offers $1.5M, player requests $2.5M.
— Tim Wharnsby (@TimWharnsby) July 20, 2015
Bouma had a career year in 2014-15 on a one-year “show me” contract. With a cap hit of just $775,000, Bouma had 16 goals, 18 assists…and a 15.4 shooting percentage. His counting stats ranked him as roughly the 200th-best offensive player in the NHL, while he had the 47th-best shooting percentage. Just saying.
For the curious, the Bouma ask of $2.5 million is really, really close to Ari’s predicted hit of $2.6 million from his camp. The Flames actually offered significantly more than the range of $662,000 to $822,000 that the numbers suggested they could ask for, so at least they’re not trying to completely bury the guy by asking him to take a pay cut or anything. But aside from being the poster boy for Calgary’s sky-high shooting percentage, Bouma was a useful complementary player in the sense that he hit a lot of guys, blocked a ton of shots, and scored some nice goals at key times. One of those three things gets guys paid a ton on the open market.
The clock is now ticking, as there are 48 hours left before the hearing date. For the record, based on the filing requests from each side, I predict that this goes to the arbiter and that the Bouma cap hit will be $1.85 million next season. However, that prediction is based on a complete guess on how heavily the arbiters will weigh the advanced stats and whether they’ve been conditioned to care about the counting stats above all else.