The Buffalo Sabres and goalie Linus Ullmark are nearly $2 million apart heading into Friday’s arbitration hearing, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
The Sabres offered Ullmark $800,000, while the Swede countered with $2.65 million, Friedman tweeted this morning.
For some perspective, Sabres starting goalie Carter Hutton has a $2.75 million salary.
Ullmark, who turns 26 today, earned $800,000 in 2018-19, his first full NHL campaign.
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.
But even half of the offer might be steep for Ullmark, who struggled last season after a hot start.
In 37 games, Ullmark compiled a 15-14-5 record with a 3.11 goals-against average, a .911 save percentage and two shutouts. He began the season 5-0-1.
The Sabres have two other unsigned restricted free agents with upcoming arbitration hearings: winger Remi Elie (Thursday) and defenseman Jake McCabe (Sunday).
The Sabres only have $3,115,476 of projected salary cap space, according to capfriendly.com, so some moves could be coming.