Before we get into full New York Islanders individual report card season, it's good to have an overview of which players need to be dealt with first based on contract status. (This will slightly influence the order in which we put each player up for your reader grade.)
Obviously, unrestricted free agent P.A. Parenteau is the hot name on most fans' minds. But he's not quite alone, and there will be other deadlines before Parenteau's comes up. As always with the CBA, there are lots of if's, and's and what-have-you's (and hey, maybe next year we'll get to learn new rules!). But generally:
- Qualifying offers to restricted free agents must be made by 5 p.m. on June 25 or the first Monday after the Entry Draft. The draft is June 22-23 this year, so June 25 is the magic date. Those offers are minimum offers, usually either matching the previous year's salary or, in cases of low-wage earners, including a 5 or 10 percent raise.
- Unrestricted free agency, everyone knows, begins on July 1. That's also the first day that qualifying offers are open for acceptance. (If a player doesn't accept, the team can still match any offer, and he can still negotiate better terms with the club.)
RFA qualifying offers must be issued by July 25 and cannot be accepted until July 1, but that doesn't mean July 1 is the drop-dead date. Qualifying offers "automatically expire at 5 p.m. on July 15" -- however, a team can extend that deadline if it files written notice to the NHL by that time on July 15.
If the following players aren't issued qualifying offers by the end of the day June 25, then their rights are being relinquished, as happened with Jack Hillen last summer and Sean Bergenheim the summer before:
- Matt Martin (2011-12 NHL salary: $615,000)
- Mikko Koskinen
- Rhett Rakhshani
- Justin DiBenedetto
- Ty Wishart
- Sean Backman
- Mark Katic
- Yuri Alexandrov
- Yannick Riendeau
Pending Unrestricted Free Agents
These guys will hit the market if not signed by July 1, although you'd imagine some would wait much longer than that if it meant fielding an offer, while a few might elect to just test the market if they get close enough to July 1 that they can smell the green grass on the other side.
- P.A. Parenteau
- Jay Pandolfo
- Micheal Haley
- Al Montoya
- Dylan Reese
- Milan Jurcina
- Steve Staios
- Mark Eaton
- Trevor Gillies
- Trevor Frischmon
You can patrol CapGeek for specific salaries and two-way details of each player, but two more factors to keep in mind:
There is a 50 NHL contract limit, which doesn't include players in juniors unless they are recalled to the squad or move to the AHL. (So Kirill Kabanov didn't count this past season, but surely will next season.)
For players in another league such as Jesse Joensuu this past year and potentially Mikko Koskinen, issuing qualifying offers means you keep their rights for now in case they or the team change their mind next time around.