Hearing dates for the 40 NHL players who filed for salary arbitration have been set, and the Rangers have dates for July 25 for defenseman Jacob Trouba and July 29 for forward Pavel Buchnevich.
Negotiations between the Rangers and the two restricted free agents continue, and both sets of negotiations are thought to be going amicably, making it unlikely either will go to arbitration. The fact the two players filed for arbitration opens a second window for the Rangers to buy out a player or players if they need to reduce their payroll and create room under the salary cap. Besides Trouba and Buchnevich, the Rangers have two other restricted free agents, defenseman Tony DeAngelo and forward Brendan Lemieux, who are negotiating new contracts.
Trouba, 25, was acquired from Winnipeg in a June 17 trade in which the Rangers sent defenseman Neal Pionk (also a restricted free agent) to Winnipeg and returned the first-round pick they acquired from the Jets in the Kevin Hayes trade. Trouba earned $5.5 million last season on a one-year bridge contract with the Jets, and scored eight goals and 42 assists in 82 games. Buchnevich, 24, scored a career-high 21 goals last season in 64 games. He comes off an entry-level contract that paid him $925,000 last season.
Pionk, 23, also filed for arbitration. His hearing date was set for July 24.