Details about restricted free agent NHL offer sheets
Since the topic of NHL offer sheets is always being asked, I’ve provided a page that should cover everything you need to know on restricted free agent offer sheets for the 2022 – 2023 NHL Season.
What is an NHL offer sheet?
An Offer Sheet is simply a Standard player Contract negotiated by the player and a Club which is not the one the one the player is currently a member of. The terms of the offer sheet are agreed to by both parties, and both sides must sign the Offer Sheet for it to be valid.
Who can get an offer sheet?
Any Restricted Free Agent not currently signed to an SPC who has not accepted his qualifying offer, has not filed for arbitration, or has not been taken to arbitration by his Club may be signed to an offer sheet. If a player is going to arbitration, he cannot get signed to an offer sheet by another team.
When can other teams talk to restricted free agents?
Starting on June 26 and until the player is signed by his Club, files for arbitration, or is taken to arbitration by his Club, other Clubs may talk to Restricted Free Agents. However … once the player meets one of the three criteria above, he cannot contact other Clubs, nor may other Clubs contact him.
When is an NHL offer sheet valid?
An offer sheet is valid only when both the team and the player have signed it. Teams can tender offer sheets to players, but if the player does not sign it then the offer sheet is null and void. In other words, no team has to worry about matching an offer sheet given to one of its Restricted Free Agents unless the player signs it.
What happens when a player signs an offer sheet?
Once a player signs an offer sheet, the team (“New Team”) giving the offer will submit it to Central Registry and must also notify the player’s original team (“Prior Team”) of the offer sheet. The Prior Team has seven (7) days from the date it receives the offer sheet to choose whether to accept the terms of the offer sheet or decline. If they choose to accept, then the salary, signing bonuses (if any), and reporting bonuses (if any) in the Offer Sheet become a binding SPC on both the Prior Team and the player. If they decline, then all of the terms specified in the Offer Sheet become binding on the New Team and the player and the Prior Team receives compensation from the New Team as set forth below.
Can the prior team trade the player’s rights if he signs an offer sheet?
NO! From Article 10.3(a),
Once an Offer Sheet for a Restricted Free Agent has been received by the Prior Club, the Prior Club may not Trade or otherwise Assign its Right of First Refusal for such Restricted Free Agent.
If the team matches, can they turn around and trade the player?
Again, no. From Article 10.3(b), the Prior Club may not Trade that Restricted Free Agent for a period of one year from the date it exercises its Right of First Refusal.
What is the compensation required for signing a RFA to an NHL offer sheet?
For the NHL 2022 – 2023 season, the compensation due for signing a RFA to an Offer Sheet is:
|$1,386,490 or below||None|
|Over $1,386,490 to $2,100,742||3rd round pick|
|Over $2,100,742 to $4,201,488||2nd round pick|
|Over $4,201,488 to $6,302,230||1st and 3rd round pick|
|Over $6,302,230 to $8,402,975||1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick|
|Over $8,402,975 to $10,503,720||Two 1st’s, one 2nd, one 3rd round pick|
|Over $10,503,720||Four 1st round picks|
The amount is determined by taking the total compensation due in the Offer Sheet, and dividing by the number of years specified in the Offer Sheet, or five (5) – whichever is less.
Example: A team signs a RFA to an offer sheet which calls for salaries of $4 million in Years 1 and 2, and $5 million in Years 3 to 5. The average amount for compensation purposes is $4.6 million ($23 million divided by 5 years) – so the compensation required in 2010-11 would be a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick.
Example: A team signs a RFA to an offer sheet which calls for a salary of $3.5 million per year for 6 years. Even though the Averaged Salary on the offer sheet would be $3.5 million, for compensation purposes the average amount is $4.2 million ($21 million divided by the lesser of the number of years on the offer sheet, or 5) – so the compensation due in 2018-19 would be one 1st and 3rd round pick.
— The numbers in the table above change at the same rate as the change in the Average League Salary.
— Teams must use their own draft picks for the purpose of compensation, including picks that were traded and later reacquired. They cannot use draft picks acquired from other teams (which were not originally theirs) to offer as compensation.
— A team can have multiple offer sheets active, provided it has the necessary draft picks available to offer as compensation.
— From Article 10.4,
— Clubs owing one (1) draft selection must have it available in the next draft.
— Clubs owing two (2) draft selections in different rounds must have them available in the next draft.
— Clubs owing three (3) draft selections in different rounds must have them available in the next draft.
— Clubs owing two (2) draft selections in the same round, must have them available in the next three (3) drafts.
— Clubs owing three (3) draft selections in the same round must have them available in the next four (4) drafts, and so on.
When a Club owes two (2) or more draft selections in the same round, the signing Club does not elect the years in which such selections shall be awarded to the Prior Club; rather, the selections next available will be transferred to the Prior Club (i.e., a Club that owes two (2) selections has them available in the next two (2) drafts – that is when they are transferred).