Salary arbitration is a contract negotiation method that uses a third party arbitrator to determine a fair contract term and length for an expiring RFA player. Arbitration can be requested if a player meets the following conditions (CBA Reference 12.1 (b)):
The player qualifies as a Restricted Free Agent (RFA)
The player has not signed an offer sheet
The player has met the required professional years of experience, as shown in the list below
Eligibility for salary arbitration is dependent on entry-level signing age, and professional experience (CBA Reference 12.1 (a)):
18-20: 4 years professional experience.
21: 3 years professional experience.
22-23: 2 years professional experience.
24 and older: 1 year professional experience.
-Signing age is the age the player is on September 15 of the year they signed their contract, unless they turn 19 from September 16-December 31, in which case they are considered 20. -Players aged 18 or 19 are considered to have completed a year of professional experience when they have played 10 or more NHL games in that season. Players aged 20 or older have completed a year of professional experience when they have played 10 games in a professional league, while under an SPC.