Traverse City — Maybe this isn’t going to be as orderly as was anticipated.
When Tomas Tatar filed for salary arbitration Thursday, the thought was Tatar and the Red Wings would eventually work toward a multi-year deal and head toward the future.
But the two sides are far apart, and Tatar told a Slovakian website if he doesn't get a long-term deal, the resulting one-year contract in arbitration would likely be his last with the Red Wings.
“Detroit offered me a contract, and even with a few options — for a year, or four or five. We’re still talking about the length, and of course, the financial amount of the contract,” Tatar told website CSA.sk (translated in the Kukla's Korner blog). “However, we aren’t going anywhere, and there’s been time enough.
“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 (salary arbitration), 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.”
General manager Ken Holland declined comment.
Tatar, 26, earned $2.75 million last season while scoring a team-leading 25 goals.
The Red Wings would like to get Tatar signed on a multi-year contract worth approximately $5 million per season — which is about $1 million less than Tatar’s representatives are looking for.
Tatar had shoulder surgery after the season ended, which could make him questionable for October and the start of next season.
“I’m already starting to work out the upper body of my body, but it’s going to take a while until I’m 100 percent fit,” Tatar told the website.
If the two sides settle on a one-year contract, it’s likely Tatar would become a valuable trade chip during next season’s trade deadline if the Red Wings’ season were to collapse.