2013 NHL CBA 10.2-10.4: Qualifying Offers, Offer Sheets, Compensation

Yesterday (I think it was yesterday), we looked at which Kings RFAs have arbitration rights this summer, with a brief tour of the CBA language (Article 12) on the topic. A pdf of the actual CBA should always be the go-to resource for anyone wanting to see all the legalese I have chopped out and simplified. But I think it’s useful to attempt to boil this stuff down. Today, we look at qualifying offers, offer sheets, and draft pick compensation.

10.2 Restricted Free Agents

(a) [a.k.a.] Group 2 Players [a.k.a. “RFAs”] […].


(A) […] Any [RFA can] negotiate and […] sign an SPC with any Club, and any Club [can] negotiate and sign an SPC with any [RFA] […].

[A player is eligible for RFA status according to this chart.] [“Age”] means a Player’s age on September 15 of the calendar year in which he signs [his first] SPC […].

An SPC is a contract. “Standard player contract.” I know you all know that, but I’m trying to be thorough and idiot-proof.

SPC Signing Age Group 2 (RFA) after:
18 – 21 3 years professional experience
22 – 23 2 years professional experience
24 or older 1 year professional experience
[A] Player aged 18 or 19 earns a year of professional experience by playing ten […] NHL Games in a [season], and a Player aged 20 or older […] earns a year of professional experience by playing ten […] Professional Games […] in a [season].

As with Article 12, NHL games means NHL games, and “Professional” games means NHL, AHL, and any other pro league games.

(B) [If an RFA] or a Club requests salary arbitration, [per] Article 12, such Player [cannot] negotiate with any [other] Club […] or sign an Offer Sheet […] except as provided in Sections 12.3(a) and 12.10.

12.3(a) says that players who made $1.75MM or more the previous season and who are being taken to Club-elected  (but not player-elected) arbitration, can still sign an offer sheet up until July 5.

12.10 lays out the general guidelines for eligibility for salary arbitration.

(ii) In order to receive a Right of First Refusal or Draft Choice Compensation, the […] Club [must make qualifying offer by] 5:00 p.m. [Eastern time, all times in the CBA are Eastern…] on the later of June 25 or the first Monday after the Entry Draft […].

In 2013, the draft takes place on June 30. The following Monday is July 1.

[A] “Qualifying Offer” [is] an offer of [a contract], for one [season], which is subject to salary arbitration if such Player is otherwise eligible for [it, per] Section 12.1, on [these] conditions:[sociallocker id=”16181″]

(A) if [his] prior […] NHL Salary is less than or equal to $660,000, [the qualifying offer must be at least] 110% of [that] Salary.

(B) if [his] prior […] NHL Salary is greater than $660,000, but less than $1,000,000 […], [the qualifying offer must be between] 105% of [that] Salary, [and] $1,000,000.

(C) if the Player’s prior […] NHL Salary is […] $1,000,000 [or more, the qualifying offer must be at least] 100% of [that] Salary.

(D) [minor league salary details – omitted zzzzzzzzz…]

A Qualifying Offer [can’t be accepted before] July 1.

If a Qualifying Offer [is made], the […] Club [has] a Right of First Refusal […], or Draft Choice Compensation […]. […]

(iii) A Club’s Qualifying Offer must be a One-Way […] Offer if […]:

(A) [The player has] played (excluding games missed for injury […]) 180 or more NHL Games in the previous three (3) NHL Seasons,

(B) [The player has] played at least sixty (60) NHL Games in the previous NHL Season, and

(C) [The player has] not cleared Waivers in the [previous season]. [For goalies, it’s games dressed, not games played.]

(iv) [If] a […] Club [doesn’t] make a Qualifying Offer […] and [doesn’t] elect salary arbitration […], the Player [becomes] an Unrestricted Free Agent […].

(v) A Qualifying Offer […] expire[s] at 5:00 p.m. […] on July 15; […] however, […] the Club may [if it uses the right form] extend the deadline [to whatever it wants].

10.3 Offer Sheet and First Refusal Procedures.

(a) When [an RFA] [accepts] an offer to sign [a contract] from [another team], [his current team] [has] seven (7) days [to] exercise […] its Right of First Refusal […]. Once an Offer Sheet […] has been received by [his current team], [they] may not Trade or otherwise Assign its Right of First Refusal […].

(b) If the [current team] [decides to “match” the offer sheet], [the player and the current team] [are] deemed to have [a deal], which [is] promptly formalize[d] in an SPC […] [They] may not Trade that Restricted Free Agent for a period of one year […].

(c) If the [current team] does not [match] within [seven days], [they become the “former team” and] the Player and the New [team] shall be deemed to have [a deal], which [is] promptly formalize[d] in an SPC […]


(i) A Club may have more than one [signed] Offer Sheet [in play at once] provided that it has the available draft picks to satisfy its obligations […] with respect to all Offer Sheets outstanding […].

(ii) An Offer Sheet, once signed, [is] irrevocable.

(e) [The] Principal Terms of an Offer Sheet are limited to the term, Paragraph 1 Salary[,] Signing Bonus and Reporting Bonus […].

(f) [blah blah blah]

(g) [blah blah paperwork]

(h) […] Central Registry [checks to see if] the […] required draft picks are available […]. […] If the […] picks are not available […], [the deal is] null and void. […]

(i) [If the deal is voided, the player goes back to being an RFA for one week, with all the rights etc. that would have applied at the time the original offer sheet was signed.]

(j) [By] May 15 […], the NHL [gives] the NHLPA […] a draft [of a] Free Agent List […]. The NHLPA will review [it] and, [by] June 1, will [dispute the details of the list, or not, and it goes back and forth until finalized]. […]

(k) [When the list is done, they send it to everyone.]

(l) [By “everyone” they mean agents and players.]

10.4 Draft Choice Compensation for Restricted Free Agents.

Any Club that [doesn’t match an offer sheet] [gets][…] Draft Choice Compensation […]. The number and quality of draft choices [depends] on the [cap hit] of the [deal]:


$1,110,249 or below None
Over $1,110,249 to $1,682,194 3rd Round
Over $1,682,194 to $3,364,391 2nd Round
Over $3,364,391 to $5,046,585 1st Round and 3rd Round
Over $5,046,585 to $6,728,781 1st Round, 2nd Round, and 3rd Round
Over $6,728,781 to $8,410,976 Two 1st Rounds, 2nd Round, and 3rd Round
Over $8,410,976 Four 1st Rounds

The dollar amounts [go up every year, proportionate to] Average League Salary […].

[For] example, if the Average League Salary for […] 2014-15 […] has increased by ten (10) percent from […] 2013-14 […], then each of the [$] above shall be increased by ten (10) percent […].

Clubs must use their own draft picks […]. Clubs cannot acquire picks to use as compensation [unless reacquiring their own picks]. […]

Next up…I have no idea. If you have any good CBA-related ideas, please advise. Otherwise, I’ll probably continue in free-agent land…


  5 comments for “2013 NHL CBA 10.2-10.4: Qualifying Offers, Offer Sheets, Compensation

  1. Bob Knob
    June 12, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    I want to know about towels.

    • June 12, 2013 at 3:17 AM

      Towels in history; Towels, invention of…

      • Bob Knob
        June 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        “34.12 Locker Room Quality/Shower Supplies. Clubs are to provide professional quality
        shower supplies/products to home and visiting team Players. Clubs are to provide high quality
        bath towels to Players, to be replaced on as needed basis.”

        • Bob Knob
          June 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

          Quisp, I am disappoint.

          • June 13, 2013 at 8:20 PM

            I’m sorry to hear that.

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