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Jurcina, Caps in arbitration hearing

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Unable to come to a settlement, the Washington Capitals and defenseman Milan Jurcina went to salary arbitration Tuesday morning.

A team spokesman said the hearing was going on as scheduled.

Jurcina’s agent, Allan Walsh, wrote on Twitter just after 10:30 a.m.: “In Jurcina arb hearing now. We just finished our presentation, waiting for club to begin.”

Jurcina was just the second player to get to a hearing this season among 20 players who filed for arbitration (the Canucks’ Kyle Wellwood was set to be the third with his hearing also set for Tuesday).

The arbitrator has 48 hours to issue his decision. Unlike baseball, NHL salary arbitration is nonbinding, and the arbitrator does not choose between the player’s request and the team’s, rather awarding a contract based on the cases presented.

Coyotes tough guy Daniel Winnik was awarded a one-year contract as the only player so far to receive arbitration in 2009.
Caps defenseman Shaone Morrisonn filed for salary arbitration in 2008, and arbitrator Terry Bethel awarded him a one-year, $1.975 million deal.

The 26-year-old Jurcina played in 79 games for the Caps last season, averaging 16:09 of ice time, 11th among Washington defensemen. He scored two goals in 14 playoff games and had 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in 79 regular-season games.

- Steve Whyno

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