Sunday, July 15, was another one of those fine-print benchmark dates on the CBA calendar: The day qualifying offers expire. That's why you had the mini-announcement that Matt Martin and Ty Wishart -- among many who were sent qualifying offers back in June -- "rejected" their Q.O.'s while Sean Backman either accepted his or agreed to something very similar in reaching his new two-way, one-year deal.
Panic not, this is all routine business.
Per CBA stipulation, since Martin was making $615,000 in NHL salary, his minimum Q.O. would have entailed a 10 percent raise. (His cap hit, with bonuses, was over $852,500, but that shouldn't be confused with the base salary used in Q.O. calculation.) Wishart, making $765,000 base when in the NHL, just needed a Q.O. offering
the same salary a 5 percent raise. [Ed. note: Sorry, I originally mislabeled Wishart's and the following no-raise category.]
Above those points, according to 10.2 in the CBA, the $1 million base salary or above is where a player's Q.O. requires no raise. But all of these players can try negotiating for higher salary, for longer term, or even for a one-way deal if that's their point of interest. ... On that note, had Martin accumulated just seven more games played over the past three seasons tor each 160, his Q.O. would have had to be a one-way offer.
Unless you think Martin deserves only $676,000 in annual salary at the NHL level, you should not be surprised Martin let his Q.O. expire. The two sides will work out a deal for the restricted free agent, though his value and term -- how many years do you think will it take for a Martin replacement to emerge? -- could be interesting.
Wishart's eventual deal, too, could be interesting in terms of figuring out what if any NHL role the club sees for him.
As for the other tendered RFAs, as noted last month the NHL rights to Euro-bound Mark Katic, Rhett Rakhshani and Justin DiBenedetto remain in the Islanders' hands. So too do the rights to goaltender Mikko Koskinen, who looks like he'll remain with Finland's KalPa for another season.
This moment of minutia was brought to you by a CBA that may be irrelevant by the time ice is poured in Brooklyn.