The arbitration case between Jared Cowen and the Toronto Maple Leafs is likely to take place in October, according to PostMedia’s Lance Hornby.
The Maple Leafs took on Cowen and his outsized contract in last season’s Dion Phaneuf trade and the Leafs made it clear pretty early on that they planned on buying out the last year of Cowen’s deal, which carries a $3.1 million cap hit and $4.5 million in actual salary.
The Leafs did just that, placing him on waivers with the intention of buying out his deal on June 15. But Cowen is contesting the buyout. He says he is still injured, which would make him ineligible for a buyout.
Cowen was already injured at the time he was acquired. Once he was believed to have been recovered from the hip injury, the Leafs placed him on waivers and reassigned him to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. He never suited up once for the franchise in the AHL or NHL.
While Hornby’s report starts to give the situation a little clarity, it’s still murky. Should the buyout go through, the arbitration appears to be taking place awfully late. Cowen would be left without a team and in need of a contract for the 2016-17 season perhaps only days before the regular season opens and well after training camps have opened, with all the PTOs that accompany them.
Cowen played 37 games last season for the Senators, registering zero goals and four assists.