Arbitration can often be a contentious process, and the Jordan Schroeder negotiations became contentious Tuesday when the Wild placed the 25-year-old right wing on waivers.
Schroeder cleared waivers Wednesday. He'll remain a restricted free agent and property of the Wild, with arbitration scheduled for July 27 unless the parties reach a deal beforehand.
Teams could have claimed him for a $15,000 waiver fee.
It was the fourth time in less than a year that Schroeder has cleared waivers. Thus, a week before a potential hearing, the Wild likely feels this would strengthen its case that Schroeder is a minor-league depth player and does not deserve the one-way contract he's seeking.
A one-way contract means if Schroeder clears waivers in training camp or at any point in the season, he is assigned to Iowa but plays there under his NHL salary. A two-way contract, which the Wild believes he warrants, means he has a salary in the NHL and a lower salary in the minors.
Two-way contracts these days for players with Schroeder's experience typically does include an expensive guarantee, however.
For instance, Zac Dalpe just signed a one-year, $600,000 two-way contract with the Wild. He makes $275,000 in the minors, but if his salary with callups don't exceed $350,000, Dalpe gets 350K.
The Wild recently signed defenseman Victor Bartley to a two-way deal with a 450K guarantee, same with center Patrick Cannone (300K guarantee).
The Wild made a similar summer decision to prove the same point to Stephane Veilleux years back.
Schroeder, drafted 22nd overall in Vancouver, has five goals and seven assists in 51 games the past two years with Minnesota. In Iowa, he has 24 goals and 38 assists in 75 games. So, the Wild doesn't feel he has earned a one-way contract.
Schroeder's agent, Neil Sheehy, declined to comment. The Wild, too, opted not comment.
We'll see if this whole maneuver now spurs a quick resolution. My gut says it will as long as he clears Wednesday.
On another topic, the Wild's only other restricted free agent is defenseman Matt Dumba.
Both sides are open to anything, but a bridge deal is the likeliest.
Talks are ongoing. The two sides spoke a couple times last week, are expected to speak again this week and may even meet face to face later this month in Calgary at the Hockey Canada camp.
GM Chuck Fletcher said last week assistant GM Brent Flahr is the man at the front of these negotiations with agent Craig Oster.