Update: Aston-Reese and the Penguins have agreed to terms on a two-year contract that will pay the winger $1.0 million annually.
Penguins GM Jim Rutherford on Aston-Reese: “Zach is a responsible player who plays a solid two-way game. He has a heavy style of play that is especially effective on the forecheck and penalty kill.”— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) July 22, 2019
Quietly, today is scheduled for Zach Aston-Reese’s arbitration:
Arbitration Hearing Schedule for this week is as follows:— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 22, 2019
Zach Aston-Reese PIT
Christian Djoos WAS
MacKenzie Weegar FLA
Evan Rodrigues BUF
Colton Sissons NSH
Sam Bennett CGY
Mirco Mueller NJDhttps://t.co/YAOHlLeC3V
That one snuck up on me.
This is the only arbitration case the Penguins have this year, and interestingly enough the player’s request and the team’s offer didn’t leak to the media. (Maybe there just isn’t that much interest in a low-level player)
Pittsburgh still has Aston-Reese and defenseman Marcus Pettersson to sign. They only have about $1.4 million in available cap space, which means another trade to clear some room is coming at some point before the start of the season.
70 out of the 74 arbitration filings in the past two years have been resolved with a contract, so one would think Aston-Reese’s representatives and the Pens will come to an agreement. If not, the team and player’s side will make their respective cases to a neutral party who then finds a number for the salary usually somewhere in the middle.
Aston-Reese only has 59 career NHL games under his belt, so it would be odd to not be able to find a common ground fairly easily for what should be a lower line winger next season. But if no agreement is made soon, the process will be awarding Aston-Reese a contract that neither side may be too thrilled about.