The Arizona Coyotes and Mikkel Boedker have thus far been unable to reach an agreement on a new contract. Today the forward took the next step in the negotiating process.
According to Craig Morgan of Fox Sports Arizona, Boedker elected to file for salary arbitration ahead of today's deadline for player elected arbitration (teams have an additional day to file for arbitration should they desire).
Filing for arbitration is not unusual for players working on a new arrangement; 20 players filed for salary arbitration last year, but only P.K. Subban actually went all the way to a hearing. The team will continue to negotiate with Boedker until late July or early-August, when the hearing takes place.
Perhaps the biggest news to come out of this development is that Boedker's agent Jarrett Bousquet has expressed a desire to complete a one year deal with Arizona before arbitration. It is believed that term has been the biggest holdup on previous negotiations, with the Coyotes wanting a shorter deal and Boedker wanting a longer one.
Should the Coyotes agree to a one-year contract, Boedker would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2015-16 season. Boedker produced 51 points in 2013-14 (19 goals, 32 assists), and 28 points in 45 games last year (he missed the second half of the season with a spleen injury).
Boedker's production over the past two seasons will likely command a significant pay increase when he hits free agency, especially if players like Joel Ward and Matt Beleskey are earning just slightly under $4 million per season on their most recent UFA contracts. At 26 this coming summer, Boedker has a more proven record in the NHL than Beleskey and is a full eight years younger than Ward.
While the team would likely prefer to keep Boedker as a more veteran forward to help mentor the team's up and coming prospects, Boedker may price himself out of Arizona if he hits free agency next summer. How Don Maloney and the Coyotes handle the next few weeks will speak volumes about the team's future plans for their Danish forward.