The Boston Bruins decided Tuesday to let forward Dmitri Khristich become a free agent rather than pay the $2.8 million that an arbitrator set as his salary.
"We strongly disagree with the arbitrator's assessment that Dmitri is a $2.8 million player," Bruins general manager Harry Sinden said.
Sinden said the team offered Khristich a contract at last year's salary of $1.95 million. Khristich reportedly asked the arbitrator for $3.5 million.
In exercising their "walkaway" rights, the Bruins retained the right of first refusal for any contract Khristich signs that is less than 80 percent of the $2.8 million arbitration award, Sinden said.
The 30-year-old left wing from Kiev, Ukraine, scored 29 goals and had 41 assists last season. In a nine-year NHL career, he has scored 225 goals with 282 assists for a total of 507 points.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed