RFA stands for Restricted Free Agent in hockey. Here are 5 supporting facts about RFA in hockey:
1. RFA status: A player becomes a Restricted Free Agent in hockey when their contract expires, and they have not accrued enough years of professional experience to become an Unrestricted Free Agent.
2. Compensation: If an RFA signs an offer sheet with another team, their original team has the opportunity to match the offer and retain the player’s services. If they choose not to match, the original team receives compensation in the form of draft picks from the team signing the RFA.
3. Qualifying offers: In order to retain their rights to an RFA, the player’s current team must make a qualifying offer before the deadline. This offer must meet certain criteria, including a specific minimum salary based on the player’s previous contract.
4. Arbitration: In some cases, an RFA and their team may not agree on a contract before the deadline for qualifying offers expires. In these situations, the player can file for salary arbitration, where an independent arbitrator determines a fair salary for the player for the upcoming season.
5. Changing teams: While an RFA’s original team has the right to match any offer sheet, they may choose not to, resulting in the player changing teams. However, the new team must give up compensation to the player’s original team, depending on the salary of the new contract.
FAQs about RFA in hockey:
1. How long does a player need to play in the NHL to become an RFA?
– To become an RFA, a player needs to have completed either seven accrued seasons, or be at least 27 years old.
2. Can a player become an RFA if they have played in another professional league?
– Yes, if a player has played in a professional league other than the NHL, the number of years required to become an RFA may vary depending on their age and experience.
3. Can an RFA sign with any team they want?
– No, an RFA is bound by their current team unless they sign an offer sheet with another team, which can be matched by their original team.
4. Can an RFA negotiate with other NHL teams?
– Yes, an RFA is allowed to negotiate with other NHL teams, but their original team has the right to match any offer they receive.
5. How is compensation determined if an RFA changes teams?
– The compensation for an RFA changing teams is determined by a formula based on the salary of the new contract they sign with the acquiring team.
BOTTOM LINE: RFA in hockey refers to a player whose contract has expired, but they have not met the criteria to become an Unrestricted Free Agent. The player’s original team has the opportunity to match any offer they receive to retain them or receive compensation if they choose not to.