Ask The Capologist

Have a question about the NHL Salary Cap, CBA, or want to know how transactions happen in the NHL? Ask The Capologist! PuckPedia’s Capologist answers your questions and gives you the information you need. Don’t wonder or speculate, ask the Capologist!

Ask Your Own Question

Restricted Free Agents (RFA)

Any player who does not meet the requirements to be an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) is a Restricted Free Agent at the conclusion of their contract. 

Offer Sheet/Right of First Refusal

An RFA may sign with a new team, but their current team has a right of first refusal to match the offer.  See Offer Sheet.  However, if an RFA elects for Salary Arbitration, they are no longer able to sign with a new team.

Qualifying Offers

In order for a team to keep a player's RFA status, they must provide a Qualifying Offer.  If they do not provide a Qualifying Offer, the player becomes a UFA.  Qualifying Offers must be provided to the player by the later of the Monday after the Entry Draft or June 25.

Qualifying Offer Requirements:

Most recent salary                                             Required Qualifying Offer %

$660K or Less                                                                  110%

$661K to $999K                                                   105% to maximum $1.0M

$1.0M or more                                                                 100%

A Qualifying Offer cannot actually be accepted before July 1.  If a Qualifying Offer is not accepted, it expires by July 15 unless extended in writing by the team.