San Antonio Rampage: Reasons For Agozzino, Clark Salary Arbitration


The NHLPA released a list of 23 players that have elected Salary Arbitration, including San Antonio Rampage players Andrew Agozzino and Mat Clark. According to the release, “Salary Arbitration hearings will be held in Toronto from July 20 to August 4, 2015.”

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No details have been released as to why Agozzino and Clark cannot agree on a new contract with the Avalanche, but Salary Arbitration is definitely the last resort in negotiations that are usually tough and leave both sides with bitter feelings. We can only speculate about where the players and club have a disagreement that won’t let them settle on a contract. However, at least in one case there is one very likely scenario.

Andrew Agozzino had a career year last season, scoring 30 goals and 64 points in 74 games with the Lake Erie Monsters. That put him fourth in the league in goals scored and seventh in points, while leading the Monsters in goals, assists and points. He also got to play one game in the NHL, recording one assist.

So chances are that as one of the best scorers in the AHL, he wants more time with the Avalanche, while being paid like one of the AHL’s best scorers, likely even on a one-way contract. Agozzino has been with the Monsters for three years now. Everybody who plays professional hockey in North America has the goal to make the NHL one day and you would think that as the top-scorer of your AHL team, you should deserve a chance to make it.

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What the Avalanche see on the other hand, is a player that is unproven in the NHL, having played only one game there. They will want him on a two-way contract at a reasonable price. As said before, this is all pure speculation, but it is a scenario that would make sense.

I don’t even want to speculate about Mat Clark. He was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks in the trade that sent Micheal Sgarbossa to California. The 24-year-old has played nine games in the NHL so far, all for the Ducks, while being a good, but not outstanding AHL defenseman. He may just want more money than the Avalanche want to spend on him.

Both players, when signed, can be expected to at least start the season with the San Antonio Rampage, the Avalanche’s new farm team. Agozzino could indeed get a chance to join the Avalanche for a longer stint at some point during the season, while Clark has a lot of players ahead of him on the depth chart.

The Colorado Avalanche still have five restricted free agents that are unsigned — all notable prospects: Mikhail Grigorenko, Joey Hishon, Calvin Pickard, Stefan Elliott and Freddie Hamilton.

Next: What Can We Expect From Mikhail Grigorenko?

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