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Florida Panthers

Bouwmeester files for arbitration

From Steve Gorten of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Panthers’ defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has elected to take the team to salary arbitration, the NHL Players Association announced on Saturday.

The league’s deadline for filing was 5 p.m. Hearings will be held July 20 to Aug. 4. Bouwmeester’s agent, Bryon Baltimore, said his hearing date hasn’t yet been determined.

Bouwmeester, a restricted free agent, was awarded a two-year, $4.35 million contract when the Panthers took him to arbitration in July 2006.

Read the entire article here.

Just because Bouwmeester has decided to file for arbitration, doesn’t mean the Panthers can’t sign him to a contract before the arbitration date. In fact, more often than not, teams sign there players after they have filed for arbitration but before the arbitration hearing is held.

That being said, this surely won’t put an end to the whispers that Bouwmeester wouldn’t mind getting out of Florida.

Update: Here is the list of all the players who filed for arbitration today.