Six arbitration hearings were scheduled for the past two days, but none have taken place, as every single player has signed a contract to avoid the process.
The latest to do so was New York Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky, who was locked in a contract stalemate up until the last minute when a four-year, $16.8-million agreement was reached.
Dubinsky's far from a household name for many fans, but he's become a very important player for the Rangers and is still only 25 years old. He plays in all situations, leading all of New York's forwards with more than 20 minutes a game, and had 24 goals and 54 points in a career year.
The $4.2-million a season figure on the deal is, in this environment, good value for a player with upside like that, especially when you consider the Winnipeg Jets recently signed Andrew Ladd to a five-year, $22-million contract.
That's what it now costs to sign a young player who plays among your top six forwards, another sign of how dramatically things have changed under this CBA. No wonder the NHL is likely to push to have unrestricted free agency come later than 25 to 27.
"I can't even tell you how much I'm looking forward to the season," Dubinsky told the New York Post after signing. "With all the guys we have coming back plus the signings we've made with Richie [Brad Richards]and Mike Rupp, I think we're going to be a contender in the East; I really feel that way.
"I high have expectations for myself and for the team. The last couple of years we've talked about being contenders. Now I truly believe we have the team to do it, not just talk about it."
There are only seven more hearings scheduled, with Weber's and Parise's the ones everyone's watching. At this rate, none of these may even take place:
July 28: Josh Gorges (Montreal), Ryan Callahan (Rangers) July 29: Jannik Hansen (Vancouver) Aug. 2: Shea Weber (Nashville) Aug. 3: Zach Parise (New Jersey) Aug. 4: Mark Fraser (New Jersey), Blake Comeau (NY Islanders)