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With the Leafs and Samsonov now engaged in an arbitration hearing, here's what the timeline is for a resolution


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Mike Armenti
July 21, 2023  (9:07)
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Well, the Leafs and Ilya Samsonov have officially gone to salary arbitration, failing to negotiate a deal before this morning's 9am arbitration hearing. Now, short of a miracle, we will await the decision from the arbitrator to find out what Samsonov's award will be.

Since Samsonov is only 1 year away from unrestricted free agency, the Leafs do not have the option of selecting a 2-year term on the arbitration award, which means that next summer, Samsonov would be in line to hit unrestricted free agency, along with Auston Matthews and William Nylander if they don't sign their extensions before then.
In terms of the timeline here today, once the team and the player present their cases and the arbitration process has concluded and an award has been handed out, the team's 2nd buyout window will open. That window opens at 5pm ET on the third day following the conclusion of the arbitration hearing when the award (or settlement) is presented, according to the Toronto Sun's Terry Koshan. That buyout window lasts only 48 hours. As for the arbitration award decision, that can come anytime within 48 hours of the conclusion of Friday morning's hearing.
The Leafs offered $2.4M to Samsonov in their arbitration filing. Samsonov's ask is $4.9M. As you would expect, the team came in low with the player coming in high. If the award comes in above $4,538,958, the Leafs will have the option to walk away, making Samsonov an unrestricted free agent. If the award is less than that amount, the Leafs have no choice but to accept the award and pay Samsonov.
Many thought that the Leafs and Samsonov were merely going through the motions by the 26-year-old netminder filing for arbitration simply to open up a 2nd buyout window. As it turns out, it would appear as though the two sides were not in collusion to make this happen for the purposes of opening up that 2nd buyout window. It appears as though the gap between team and player is sizeable enough that two months of negotiations couldn't narrow it. Not ideal.
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With the Leafs and Samsonov now engaged in an arbitration hearing, here's what the timeline is for a resolution

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