Restricted Free Agents agents are eligible for Arbitration if the following qualifications are met (only Restricted Free Agents can go to arbitration):
For players 20 years of age or older, Professional experience is defined as any professional league (AHL, ECHL, European Pro League, etc.)
Player Elected Arbitration
If a Player has not signed an offer sheet, they can elect to go to arbitration. They must elect to do so by July 5 at 5pm Eastern.
Team Elected Arbitration
Teams can take players to arbitration, to a maximum of 2 Team Elections per year.
If a player made $2.11M or more in the last season, the Arbitration award must be 85% of their previous season pay or more. If the team elects arbitration, the player can still sign an offer sheet with another team prior to July 5 at 5pm, which would negate the team elected arbitration. The Team must elect the arbitration by 5pm on the later of June 15 or 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Finals ends.
If a player makes less than $2.11M, received a Qualifying Offer but did not accept it, the team must offer an amount equal to or more than their pay in the previous season. The Team election window is from July 5 and 5pm to July 6 at 5pm.
A player can only receive 1 Team Elected arbitration in their career, regardless of if the case was settled prior to the actual arbitration award.
The arbitrator can only award a 1 or 2 year contract. The party that did not elect the arbitration selects the term (if the player selected arbitration, the team selects 1 or 2 year term). Players that are only 1 year away from being a UFA can only have a 1 year contract awarded. Agreements can be reached between the teams and players prior to the arbitration award being delivered.
For a 1 year Player elected arbitration, the Team can walk away if the award is $4.22M or more. They must walkaway within 48 hours of the team's last arbitration award. If they walk away, the player becomes a UFA.
For a 2 year Player elected arbitration, the Team can walk away from the second year of the award if it is $4.22M or more. They must walkaway within 48 hours of the team's last arbitration award. If they walk away, the player is a UFA at the end of the first year.
In 2018, 44 players elected for salary arbitration, and no teams elected.