Sergei Kostitsyn, the Nashville Predators’ leading goal scorer last season, was one of 23 eligible NHL players who filed for arbitration rights, the NHL Players Association announced Tuesday.
Hearings will take place between July 20 and Aug. 4 in Toronto, and an independent judge will set contract terms, which the team may then accept or not. If the team walks away from the ruling, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Kostitsyn, 24, scored a career-high 23 goals and added 27 assists last season, when he earned $550,000 on a one-year deal.
The Predators made him a qualifying offer, which guarantees him a raise of 10 percent for the coming season. However, the NHLPA has filed a grievance on behalf of him and several others claiming that offers were tendered after the deadline and the players ought to be free agents.
The grievance will be heard Friday in New York.
Teams have until 4 p.m. (CDT) to file for arbitration on other players, if they so choose.
Nashville already has filed for a hearing with captain Shea Weber, although General Manager David Poile said the preference is to negotiate a new contract with Weber prior to that point.