Sharks center Chris Tierney, a restricted free agent, filed for salary arbitration on Thursday, the NHLPA announced. San Jose can continue to negotiate a contract with a 24-year-old prior to an arbitration hearing, which would take place at some point between July 20 and August 4.
An arbitration award would be issued no later than August 6, or 48 hours after the hearing. Such a contract can last no longer than two years, and the Sharks would decide the length of the deal, since San Jose did not opt for arbitration.
The Sharks issued Tierney a qualifying offer worth $771,500 on June 25, meaning San Jose retained his exclusive negotiating rights and would have been allowed to match any offer sheet. Since Tierney filed for arbitration, he is no longer eligible to be signed to an offer sheet, and his qualifying offer will expire on July 15 at 2 p.m. PT.
Last summer, Tierney signed his qualifying offer, a one-year deal worth $735,000. He responded with a career-high 40 points (17 goals and 23 assists), 29 of which came at even strength, tying for fifth and seventh on the team, respectively. He also played in all 82 games, and logged a career-high 16:00 per game.
Should Tierney and the Sharks make it to arbitration, he would become the first San Jose player to actually have a hearing. Previously, three Sharks filed for arbitration: Center Marcel Goc in 2008, winger T.J. Galiardi in 2012, and defenseman Jason Demers in 2014. San Jose settled with each player prior to a hearing.