Arbitrator: Rangers must pay Holik, Ortmeyer Staff

5/28/2008 10:36:08 AM

Sources tell TSN that the New York Rangers will have to pay former Ranger and current Atlanta Thrashers forward Bobby Holik $3.5 million over a contract dispute in 2004-2005.

Because of the lockout that wiped out the 2004-2005 season, the Rangers argued that Holik needed to play to earn his signing bonus.

An arbitrator disagreed and made the ruling in favor of Holik and Jed Ortmeyer, who the Rangers will also have to pay an undisclosed amount.

The Rangers bought out the remaining two years on Holik's five-year, $45 million contract contract in 2005. The team pried him away via free agency from the New Jersey Devils prior to the 2002-03 season. 

Holik was set to earn $6.726 million in 2005-06, following the 24 percent contract rollback mandated by the new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and the players' association.