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Report: Thrashers will let Clarke MacArthur become a free agent

Jul 20, 2010, 4:17 PM EDT

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clarkemacarthur.jpgWhile the dirty south’s version of the Chicago Blackhawks, the Atlanta Thrashers, prepare for some of their arbitration cases with Clarke MacArthur, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd, it turns out at least one of those guys might be having his case heard for no good reason at all. Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells us that Clarke MacArthur could be headed for free agency instead.

Thrashers forward Clarke MacArthur will likely become an unrestricted free agent in the next day or two. MacArthur filed for arbitration and his hearing is set for tomorrow. However, don’t be surprised if the Thrashers walk away from what will be an award of more than $2 million a season. I’m hearing they will most likely walk, making MacArthur an UFA.

MacArthur made $1.4 million last year with the Sabres and Thrashers and a raise isn’t out of the question for the forward, but having a team walk away from an arbitration award is a bit rare in itself, especially on a player that would be useful in MacArthur. With how the Thrashers will be set up next season, MacArthur was likely to slot in as a third line winger. $2 million for a third-liner is the kind of thing you see… Well, not in Atlanta. That said, Atlanta is currently well below the salary floor. Perhaps a couple million for a third-line guy won’t hurt too badly.

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