Saturday, August 14, 2004

Niedermayer awarded $7 million

Norris Trophy winner Scott Niedermayer was awarded $7 million dollars at his salary arbitration hearing. Arbitration came after the New Jersey Devils defenseman turned down a five-year, $40 million contract. He in turn requested a $45 million contract for the same period. The $7 million matches John LeClair's award in 2000 as the largest salary arbitration settlement. Niedermayer sought more money after Chris Pronger signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Blues. Speaking of that deal two weeks ago, I noted that it would cause a ripple effect of all star defensemen seeking cash-outs on their success, including the Wings' own Mathieu Schneider. The Niedermayer award accommodates with New Jersey's self-imposed salary ceiling of around $7 million (Martin Brodeur making $6,891,103.13, Scott Stevens making $6,916,747.25, and Scott Niedermayer now making $7 million). The Devils dodged a bullet with Niedermayer only getting $7 million, especially after he turned down a long-term deal of $8 million per season and Devils' General Manager Lou Lamoriello said that he will pay whatever it takes. Niedermayer earned $4 million last season, and likely argued in arbitration for a salary closer to those of Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Pronger, or Rob Blake. I am glad to see that, when more and more general managers throw cash at their players, arbitration hearings still keep league salaries in check.


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