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LEBRUN BREAKS DOWN THE RFA PROCESS FOR THIS SEASON

The NHL recently announced that the free agency period will begin on October 9th. This is when teams can start submitting offers to players considered to be unrestricted free agent. So, how will the restricted free agency process work this season with everything thrown out of whack due to the COVID-19 pandemic? TSN's Pierre LeBrun has an excellent breakdown.

"Clubs have until 5 p.m. ET on October 7th to submit Qualifying Offers to their respective RFAs. Which those RFAs can begin signing as of noon ET October 9th. Those Qualifying Offers expire at 5 p.m. ET on October 18th.

"All of which takes on more importance than normal this year because of the flat cap environment and some teams thinking long and hard about certain RFAs and whether they will be qualified or not," continued LeBrun.



If a player doesn't receive a qualifying offer from their respective clubs, the process is simple. They become an unrestricted free agent and are free to sign anywhere in the NHL. If the player receives an offer and does not accept it, it gets a little more complicated. For those with arbitration rights, they can choose to have an independent third party decide what they should get paid. If not, they can choose to sit out until they receive an offer they can live with (See William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2018, who sat out the entire months of October and November before signing a new six-year deal just before the deadline).

Another possible wrinkle for RFAs is the offer sheet from other teams. They are rare, but they can happen and teams are eligible to submit them when free agency opens on October 9th. If they are not signed by the player getting the offer, they are not valid. If the player signs the offer sheet and his team refuses to match the offer, he is now the property of the team that made the offer sheet. The team that had the RFA before is now owed compensation by the player's new team. The compensation level depends on the salary being paid. You can see the full breakdown here. .

Some of the more notable names becoming RFAs in October include Mathew Barzal (New York Islanders), Anthony Cirelli (Tampa Bay), Tony DeAngelo (New York Rangers), Pierre-Luc Dubois (Columbus), Matt Murray (Pittsburgh), Sam Reinhart (Calgary) and Max Domi (Montreal).

TIM TUCKER
SEPTEMBER 14, 2020  (19H28)
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