The Nashville Predators have re-signed forward Yakov Trenin to a two-year deal worth $1.7 million per season, courtesy of an arbitrator's ruling on Friday afternoon.
The Predators and Trenin were unable to reach a deal by themselves prior to their scheduled arbitration hearing Tuesday afternoon. As a result, a judge was forced to rule on a new contract after a lengthy hearing process, which clubs and players typically prefer to avoid.
Trenin, Nashville's second-round pick (55th overall) in 2015, finally earned a full-time NHL role in 2021-22 and responded with a breakout year. His 17 goals not only tripled his previous career high but were good enough for sixth-best on the team. His seven assists, 24 points, 46 penalty minutes and plus-7 rating were all personal bests as well.
In the playoffs, the 25-year old Russian winger was one of Nashville's best players. His three goals in Nashville's first-round sweep by the Colorado Avalanche were tied for the team lead and he was one of just a handful of players to make his presence known physically.
Working against him, however, was his failure to register even a single point in his final 15 games of the regular season — a point Nashville presumably brought up to the arbitrator. In fact, Trenin didn't impact the scoresheet offensively for the entire calendar month of April. His last point — an assist — came on March 29.
Trenin's stat line in April included zero goals and points through 15 games with a minus-6 rating, which likely impacted the Predators' playoff push as they were 6-6-3 that month and needed just one more point to avoid playing the eventual Stanley Cup Champions in the first round.
Arbitration hearings have been known to get messy quickly. Both parties are required to present their case in front of a judge who typically rules somewhere in the middle.
Naturally, teams typically present a low-ball offer while the player counters with a swing-for-the-fences kind of deal. Per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Nashville came before the judge asking for two years at $1.35 million each while Trenin's camp sought a one-year deal worth $2.4 million.
Trenin made just $725,000 in each of his last two seasons. With the one good campaign under his belt, the club offering him the security of two years at nearly double his previous salary actually wasn't that far fetched.
Ultimately, the judge seemed to side with the club more so than the player, resulting in Trenin's raise, which is just shy of $1 million.
Along with Tanner Jeannot and Colton Sissons, Trenin formed the "HERD" line, often referred to as the team's identity line because of their relentless pursuit of the puck, tenacity on the forecheck and strong physical game.
Sissons has four years left on his seven-year, $20 million deal while Jeannot is one summer away from becoming a Restricted Free Agent after leading all NHL rookies in goals (24) last year.
With Trenin being locked up for two more years, getting two-thirds of the HERD line under contract through 2024 is a win for the Predators' front office.