As the NHL off-season churns on, today is the day teams must make. Here’s how it looks for the Penguins via CapFriendly
Here’s the minutia from CapFriendly, if you’re into the mumbo jumbo:
Teams must extend a qualifying offer to a restricted free agent to retain negotiation rights.
A qualifying offer is an official Standard Player Contract (SPC) offer which shall be 1 year in length, and which can be subject to salary arbitration should the player be eligible.
Clubs have until the later of June 25th or the first Monday after the Entry Draft to submit Qualifying Offers.
Qualifying Offers apply to Group 2 and Group 4 free agents.
Submitting a Qualifying Offers gives the prior club the right of first refusal to match any offer sheet submitted, or receive draft pick compensation.
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 players base salary (NHL salary minus signing bonus), and at minimum must meet the seasons minimum salary requirements:
110% of the base salary if the base salary is less than or equal to $660,000
105% of the base salary if the base salary is greater than $660,000 or less than $1,000,000. However, this qualifying offer cannot exceed $1,000,000.
100% of the base salary if the base salary is equal to or greater than $1,000,000.
In English? The Penguins have to offer 105% of the salaries above to Marcus Pettersson, Zach Aston-Reese and Teddy Blueger to keep them. That’s obviously a no-brainer that will happen.
No tough decisions for Pittsburgh this year, though will they bring Adam Johnson back at a $874,125 cap hit for next year? Most likely but that’s a bit of a high number.
Also, worth noting that the NHL minimum salary has increased from $650,000 to $700,000 starting next season, so keep that in mind. Player salary is creeping up a bit on the low-end for cheaper players.
I suppose it will be interesting to see if the Pens keep the rights to Joseph Blandisi, who they acquired via trade last year. Blandisi did get some NHL games, will they want to keep him in mind as a 13/14/15 type of forward on the organization’s chart? Or will younger players like Johnson and Sam Lafferty render Blandisi not needed anymore?
But, for the most part, it’s an easy qualifying day for Pittsburgh. Aston-Reese, Pettersson and Blueger are no-brainers to keep their rights and then they have all summer to negotiate a contract that probably won’t cause a lot of drama for either the team or the respective player.
Pettersson might be in-line for that Jamie Oleksiak-type of three year contract in the $2ish million range if the Pens want to commit to him, but I would probably expect ZAR and Blueger to sign cheaper one or two year deals that will guarantee them NHL one-way salaries but probably not break the bank. That’s important though to have young, fresh and good bottom-six contributors on the cheap, so they’ll be welcomed parts of the team moving forward.
Otherwise, shouldn’t be much drama or intrigue about qualifying offers in Pittsburgh this summer, just another box to check off to get that much closer to having the off-season be over.