The Buffalo Sabres and defenseman Jake McCabe are nearly $2.5 million apart heading into Sunday’s arbitration hearing, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
The Sabres offered McCabe $1.95 million, while he countered with $4.3 million, Friedman tweeted this morning.
McCabe, 25, earned $1.775 million last season.
Arbiters, of course, sometimes find a middle ground. Last week, Sabres forward Evan Rodrigues was awarded a one-year, $2 million contract following his hearing.
The Sabres offered Rodrigues $1.5 million, while he countered with $2.65, according to Friedman.
McCabe compiled four goals, 14 points, 35 penalty minutes and a minus-4 rating in 59 games last season. In his six-year career, he has accumulated 14 goals, 61 points, 153 penalty minutes and a minus-19 rating in 274 contests.
The American averaged 18 minutes, 57 seconds of ice time an outing in 2018-19, the seventh-highest total among Sabres. He topped more than 19 minutes a game in each of the previous three campaigns.
The Sabres’ other unsigned restricted free agent, goalie Linus Ullmark, has his arbitration hearing today.
The Sabres only have $3,115,476 of projected salary cap space, according to capfriendly.com, so some moves could be coming.