Thomas Tatar is one of the first scheduled for salary arbitration come July 20th. According to some reports, he has stated that he might simply test the UFA waters after a 1 yr arbitration dictated contract is up if Detroit doesn't find a way to avoid the hearing. "Arbitration is the last option, I have to sign off, it’s just a mandatory contract," Tatar reportedly said. "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."
Tatar is asking for a 7 year deal in the $5-6M range. The 26-year-old is coming off a season where he scored 25 goals (46 points) in 82 games. This is also his thrird straight 20-goal season. Only 30 players in the NHL have scored more goals in the past three seasons than Tatar’s 75 goals. It appears that the yearly range is appropriate but is 7 years too long? It is being reported that the Red Wings have only offered up to a 5 year deal.
The question becomes is Tatar a player the Wings should commit to for 7 years? Or is it better for them to take the 1-year defined arbitration contract and sell him at the trade deadline for prospects and picks?