9:24AM: Larry Brooks tweets that "barring a last minute settlement" the Rangers and Mika Zibanejad are heading for an arbitration hearing.
The hearing, scheduled for today, was supposed to begin at 9AM in Toronto.
In 2014 it was believed that the Rangers and Chris Kreider were in an arbitration hearing before it was announced that they had come to terms on a deal.
The Rangers and Zibanejad can still come to terms on a new contract up until the decision from the arbitrator is sent out.
Detroit and Tomas Tatar went to a hearing last week but agreed to a four-year deal before the arbitrator rendered a decision.
In 2014, PK Subban and Montreal also had a hearing but came to terms on an eight-year deal before the arbitrator rendered a decision.
Adam Rotter: I'm surprised that the hearing is going on as Jeff Gorton has long had a history of striking deals at the last minute to avoid the hearing. The hearing though is only the first part as the arbitrator then has 48 hours to render his decision. The Rangers and Zibanejad can still come to terms in the interim, and maybe they will, but the fact that they couldn't avoid the hearing makes me wonder if this will go to the arbitrator. At the end of the day Zibanejad is going to be signed, it's just either for one-year, where they can do this whole dance again next summer, or for multiple years. What impact this hearing has on the future for Zibanejad remains to be seen and immediately will bring to light speculation about a potential trade next summer.