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Report: Niederreiter files for arbitration – here's what that means for the Wild

Here's how arbitration works in hockey.

The Wild made qualifying offers to seven restricted free agents at the end of June, with Nino Niederreiter among the biggest names on the list.

As the Pioneer Press pointed out at the time, this wasn't a huge deal – it's mainly a way to hold on to negotiating rights with a player.

According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, Niederreiter will now file for arbitration.

So what does heck that mean?

Well basically Niederreiter wants more money than the Wild offered him.

As explained by thoughtco.com, the Wild, Niederreiter's agent, and a neutral third party – the arbitrator – have a window sit down and discuss his salary. The arbitrator, if it continues unresolved, could settle Niederreiter's salary for his upcoming contract.

Here's a breakdown of the process via thoughtco:

"The deadline for players to request salary arbitration is July 5, with cases heard in late July and early August. A player and team can continue to negotiate up until the date of the hearing, in hopes of agreeing on a contract and avoiding the arbitration process. A decision must be made within 48 hours of the hearing. When the decision is announced, the team has the right to decline, or 'walk away' from the award. If the team exercises this right, the player can declare himself an unrestricted free agent."

'A game of chicken'

Thescore.com notes the arbitration process is basically "a game of chicken," since the two sides can still work out a contract before heading to their scheduled arbitration hearing.

Last year, 25 players filed for arbitration and all but one player – Tyson Barrie of Colorado – were able to work out a deal prior to the hearing.

Don't sweat it

So it's honestly unlikely the Wild and Niederreiter will actually go to an arbitrator; instead it just buys time for both sides to work out a deal.

Heck, when Niederreiter signed his previous contract in 2014, he didn't do so until mid-September.

Last season the 24-year-old forward set career highs across the board in goals (25), assists (32) and points (53).

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