Today is the deadline for teams to issue qualifying offers to RFAs. The qualifying offer must be at least the minimum as calculated by a formula based on last year’s actual cash salary. It must be a one-way deal in some circumstances based on games played.
So far the Leafs have signed a handful of their RFAs:
And now they have qualified the rest of them to maintain exclusive negotiation rights. Of the remaining players, Martin Marincin and Justin Holl have arbitration rights, and the deadline for players to elect arbitration is July 5. Teams can elect arbitration on July 5-6.
He’ll be issued a qualifying offer as a formality. In one of his recent press scrums, Kyle Dubas said that negotiations will progress over the summer. He didn’t sound like he was in a hurry or concerned about the amount of this deal and how it will affect other choices they make.
He’ll be qualified, again as a formality, and we’ll hear about this contract next when it’s done, I would assume.
Aaltonen has said he’s returning to the KHL, but the Leafs issued a qualifying offer to maintain rights to him.
The remaining players qualified are: Martin Marincin, Justin Holl and Frederik Gauthier. Marincin’s qualifying offer is for $1.3 million, so if he simply accepts it, he’ll be paid more than can be buried in the minors next season.
Players may accept the offer, or negotiate another deal more to their liking. There is nothing stopping Marincin from signing a deal for a lower amount. Usually that happens when a player wants more term than the qualifying offer deal has.
If a player does not accept the offer, it eventually expires, but they do not become UFAs. The team maintains exclusive rights to negotiate with the player.