The NHL salary arbitration hearing period opens Monday with scheduled cases involving St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka and Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson. Both sides file salary requests based on the pay of statistically comparable restricted free agents and make their presentations before an arbitrator in Toronto. Franson, for example, filed for $4.2 million, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, while the Maple Leafs filed for $2 million. Arbitrators can choose whatever salary they deem fit and it's usually something in the middle. Last year, every player settled before his hearing. The final cases are scheduled to be heard on Aug. 1. Interesting cases over the next two weeks: Sobotka (July 21) He couldn't reach a deal with the Blues and signed a three-year contract with the Kontinental Hockey League's Avangard Omsk (there's an out clause after every year). The Blues are taking him to arbitration, so essentially the arbitrator will decide what Sobotka will get paid if he returns from Russia. Ryan O'Reilly, Colorado Avalanche (July 23) Unable to reach a deal with Colorado coming out of the lockout, he signed a 2013 offer sheet (two years, $10 million) with the Calgary Flames, which the Avalanche matched. It paid $6.5 million in the second year and Colorado filed to take him to arbitration, meaning they could attempt to get him below the $6.5 million.