- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Although the Washington Capitals and Milan Jurcina were unable to come to a settlement before Tuesday’s salary arbitration hearing, the defenseman’s agent said there was no nastiness as part of the discussion.

“It was very professionally presented by both sides,” Allan Walsh of Octagon Hockey said. “There was some strong advocating by both sides, but certainly there was no nastiness or low blows, as has occurred in some other hearings.”

One of those contentious hearings reportedly was Shaone Morrisonn’s last season, when the Caps called the defenseman “one-dimensional,” according to the (Toronto) Globe and Mail. Morrisonn eventually was awarded $1.975 million.

The panel that heard Jurcina’s case has 48 hours to issue its decision. Walsh could not comment on the specifics of the hearing other than to note the tenor of the discussion.

“Both sides were professional, and I don’t believe anybody came out from the hearing feeling anybody delivered any low blows,” he said.

A spokesman said the Caps could not comment, citing the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Jurcina and the Canucks’ Kyle Wellwood were just the second and third players to get to a hearing this season among the 20 who filed for salary arbitration.

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, becoming the only player so far to receive arbitration in 2009.

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.

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