ShareThis Page

Penguins, Brian Dumoulin not close on money heading into arbitration

Jonathan Bombulie
| Saturday, July 22, 2017, 11:36 a.m.
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin (8) plays against the Ottawa Senators during the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday, May, 13, 2017 at PPG Paints Arena.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brian Dumoulin (8) plays against the Ottawa Senators during the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday, May, 13, 2017 at PPG Paints Arena.

The Penguins and Brian Dumoulin have different ideas about what the 25-year-old defenseman's salary should be next season.

Dumoulin's arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday in Toronto. He is asking for a one-year deal worth $4.35 million, and the Penguins offered a contract worth $1.95 million, according to a report by Elliotte Friedman of

An NHL arbitrator, unlike those in MLB, doesn't have to select the team's figure or the player's figure. He may chose a salary in between the proposals and almost certainly will in this case.

Both sides will have facts on their side heading into the hearing.

To Dumoulin's credit, he has emerged as a key player for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Over the past two postseasons, no one in the league has played more minutes than Dumoulin's 1,066. Last season, he led Penguins defensemen in postseason ice time, averaging almost 22 minutes per game. Next season, he is expected to play on the team's top defense pair with Kris Letang.

To Dumoulin's detriment, salary for defensemen in the NHL still often is at least partially determined by offensive production, and that is not the Maine native's specialty. He has two goals in 163 career regular-season games.

After both sides present their cases Monday, the arbitrator will have 48 hours to weigh his decision. In other words, a verdict isn't expected until Wednesday.

The Penguins and Dumoulin may continue to try to settle on a contract on their own all the way until the arbitrator's ruling is announced.

Most cases are settled before the arbitrator's ruling. Last year, none of the 25 NHL players who filed went through with the entire process. Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford, however, said earlier this month that he's comfortable allowing an arbitrator to set this year's salary for Dumoulin and worrying about the defenseman's long-term contractual future with the team at a later date.

Dumoulin is the first of two Penguins players set for arbitration this summer. Winger Conor Sheary's hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4.

The Penguins have about $10 million in space under the $75 million salary cap with 12 forwards, six defensemen and two goalies under contract. After Dumoulin and Sheary are taken care of, Rutherford estimated the Penguins will have about $2 million left over to fit in a third-line center via trade.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at or via Twitter at @BombulieTrib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me