Jake McCabe and the Buffalo Sabres reportedly are more than $2 million apart entering their salary arbitration hearing Sunday in Toronto.
According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, McCabe's representatives are seeking a 2019-20 salary of $4.3 million, while the Sabres want to pay him $1.95 million. An indepedent arbitrator will hear each side's argument before rendering a verdict, which will likely result in splitting the difference.
McCabe, a 25-year-old defenseman, has been limited by injuries the past two seasons and played 59 games for the Sabres in 2018-19. The restricted free agent finished with four goals among 14 points with a minus-4 rating, though he was on pace for a career offensive season prior to suffering an upper-body injury. He counted $1.6 million against the salary cap in each of the past three seasons.
McCabe was also limited to 53 games in 2017-18, which resulted in a three-goal, 12-point season. The former second-round draft pick has proven capable of filling a signficant role when healthy, averaging 19:37 of ice time over the past four seasons.
McCabe has ranked fourth in hits (400), second in blocked shots (401) and second in penalty-kill ice time (462:07) during that span. Since making his NHL debut during the 2013-14 season, McCabe has averaged 19:26 of ice time while scoring 14 goals among 61 points with a minus-19 rating in 274 games.