The Winnipeg Jets reached agreement on a one-year, $3.3 million contract with forward Michael Frolik on Tuesday and avoided an arbitration hearing later in the week.
Frolik had 15 goals and 42 points in 81 games last season.
"Early in the process, we essentially discussed that this was not going to get to an arbitration," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said, according to NHL.com. "It was more the fact that we wanted to make sure that Michael was under contract for us this coming year, and that's the benefit of the arbitration process.
"There's nothing etched in stone ever when you begin a negotiation that one, you're going to get a deal, or two, you're going to get a deal with different types of term. The arbitration process allowed that guarantee, at least in this situation, that there was going to be a one-year deal.
"Early on, we both talked about the fact that this wasn't something that needed to get to that point because we weren't trying to claw back salary, we weren't trying to do anything to harm the relationship. It was just time to make sure a deal was gonna be done and if there was the basis for something else, we would have looked at it. We did look at it and we'll continue to look at it as well."
A former first-round pick by the Florida Panthers in 2006, Frolik also played for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Jets. In 430 career games with the three teams, he has 76 goals and 193 points.
The 26-year-old Frolik is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The two sides attempted to work out a long-term contract before settling on the one-year deal.
"The conversations were very open," Cheveldayoff said. "The dialogues were very candid and very productive. It's just the matter of fact that we don't have a longer-term deal at this point in time. If the arbitration process wasn't to begin in earnest this morning, we probably would still be talking. It is part of the way the summer unfolds and sometimes you're able to beat the deadline and accomplish some of the things that you set out to. But whether it's a deal that happens at different points in time, we'll just continue to talk.
"You have to make some decisions based on timing, and we both just felt it was best to agree on a one-year deal at this point in time and we can continue the conversations as we move forward."Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun