NHLPA releases arbitration dates but forgets key player!

What’s going on?! Here come the rumours!

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The National Hockey League’s Players Association has just release the calendar and specific dates for all players seeking salary arbitration this offseason, with hearing being held from Oct. 20 to Nov. 8, 2020.

Here is the complete schedule from the official NHLPA page: 

Oct. 20: Andrew Mangiapane, Anthony DeAngelo, Matt Grzelcyk. 
Oct. 21: Ilyya Mikheyev. 
Oct. 22: Connor Brown. 
Oct. 25: Tyler Bertuzzi
Oct. 26: Linus Ullmark
Oct. 27: Sam Reinhart
Oct. 30: Josh Ho-Sang
Oct. 31: Devon Toews, Alexandar Georgiev. 
Nov. 1: Nick Paul. 
Nov. 2: Gustav Forsling.
Nov. 4: Victor Olofsson, Warren Foegele. 
Nov. 5: Ryan Strome.
Nov. 6: Brendan Lemieux, Ryan Pulock. 
Nov. 7: Christian Jaros. 
Nov. 8: Chris Tierney, MacKenzie Weegar, Haydn Fleury.

However, one key player did not get a date for an arbitration hearing though it was announced that he was seeking a meeting. Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen is nowhere to be found on the schedule released on Tuesday night. 

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman had to get involved it seems and finally announced that Virtanen’s hearing would be held on October 28, though it was not put in the official schedule at first. 

Some folks were wondering if the reason behind his name not being released on the official schedule at first was because a trade might have been brewing. 

After a very disappointing performance in the postseason, which followed a controversial incident in which Virtanen was caught in a bar during quarantine, many fans of Virtanen and the Canucks figured he had played his final game in Vancouver. Despite only scoring two goals and adding one assist through 16 playoff games, the restricted free agent was eventually qualified by general manager Jim Benning and it sounds like they will go to arbitration on Oct. 28. 

After earning a quite reasonable $1.25 million last year, Virtanen put up 18 goals which could get him a pay raise around the $3 million range. There is no doubt that Virtanen has what it takes to be a top-six forward, but the latest controversy surrounding him had fans think for a second that the Canucks might not want anything to do with him… even a hearing.