All indications so far in the contract negotiations between Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar and the team’s general manager Ken Holland is that things aren’t exactly going as smoothly as hoped. With an arbitration date set for July 20th, the two sides have just a week and a half left to come to terms on a deal or risk having to settle on a one or two year agreement put forth by an arbitration judge in court.
And should things get to that point? Well… the situation may get even uglier. George Malik of Red Wings blog KuklasKorner uncovered and translated a radio interview Tatar conducted just this week in which the 26 year-old states, "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, 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," said Tatar.” For the full report, click here.
Wow. That’s laying down the gauntlet. Tatar’s message to management couldn’t be clearer here, “commit to me, or let me go”. It’ll be interesting to see how his words affect negotiations moving forward. It’ll also be interesting to see how this affects fan opinion of him in Motor City. Reports that he’s set to earn a deal of up to $6 million annually have not gone over well with the team’s fanbase, so his latest protestation may only work against his favor in the court of public opinion. He’ll certainly earn more than Gustav Nyquist’s $4.75 million annual salary, but how much more remains to be seen.