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RFA qualifying offers are next on the NHL calendar

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The drafts are over, and it’s time to relax. Only, not so fast. There’s a few more things to do before the summer heats up.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The drafts were a whirlwind, and the Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager seemed to be one of a very few people unruffled by it all. The Leafs sent Brendan Leipsic off to Vegas, drafted their seven new prospects and haven’t done anything else in the month of June.

They haven’t announced when their development camp is or where it is. We hope that will be revealed soon, but they also haven’t signed any players since they made a seven-year deal with Nikita Zaitsev.

The NHL calendar has a few more deadlines on it, and the next one concerns the Leafs and the rest of their RFAs. Qualifying offers for RFAs must be submitted by 5 p.m. New York time on Monday, June 26. If no qualifying offer is given, and the player is not signed by July 1, they become an unrestricted free agent.

2017 Toronto Maple Leafs RFAs

Name Position 2016 Salary Arbitration Eligible Waivers Exempt Next Season
Name Position 2016 Salary Arbitration Eligible Waivers Exempt Next Season
Zach Hyman F 900,000 Yes No
Connor Brown F 686,667 No No
Sergei Kalinin F 800,000 Yes No
Justin Holl D 742,500 Yes Yes
Antoine Bibeau G 655,000 No Yes
Seth Griffith F 625,000 Yes No
Garret Sparks G 575,000 Yes No

This list has not changed since May, with the exception of the removal of Brendan Leipsic. I’ve left Sergei Kalinin on there because, while his rights in the KHL were traded to SKA, he has not signed a contract with anyone.

The two AHL goalies and the two NHL forwards are still the big issues, and while I would expect qualifying offers to be given to all four of them, Justin Holl and Seth Griffith, they might not all still be with the Team come September.

Qualifying Offer Rules

From CapFriendly.

  • Teams must extend a qualifying offer to a restricted free agent to retain negotiation rights.
  • If the player rejects the qualifying offer, they remain an RFA and their rights are retained by the team.
  • If a player does not receive a qualifying offer, the player becomes a UFA.
  • The qualifying offer is calculated from the player’s base salary (NHL salary minus signing bonus), and must meet the season’s minimum salary requirements:
  • The qualifying offer must be a one-way offer if the following three requirements are met (a goaltender is considered to have played a game if they are on the bench as a backup for this scenario):

The player played in 180 NHL games in the previous three seasons.

The player played in 60 NHL games in the previous season.

The player did not clear waivers in the previous season.


None of the RFAs on the list are required to be given one-way deals, but I would expect Connor Brown and Zach Hyman to ultimately sign one-way deals for much more than their QO. The rest of the list will likely be qualified, with the possible exception of Kalinin.

Signing of those players may wait until after the UFA period is over. The Leafs may want to know their cap situation in total before they finalize those two important RFA deals.