Here's an article discussing the basics of it. It's from 2011 but is still very relevant as the rule has not changed. It discusses the thought process behind it and how it pertained to the Rangers and Glen Sather/Chris Drury then.
Only Sammy is eligible as the other two don't make the required $2,750,000/annually in salary.
Great article, thanks for providing that. It clarifies the waters somewhat.
The author also mentions that not all RFAs are eligible for arbitration. Based on their ages and # of games played, I believe all three DET RFAs would be eligible. But if anyone is curious at looking closer, I pasted the arbitration eligibility rules below.
Whether Holland would actually be willing to ask the player agents to consider arbitration, I'm not so sure. But perhaps this rule does empower him to offer the RFAs the minimum required (I think it's 110% of their current salary, so somewhere just south of $1 million each), and see what happens.. Currently Capgeek has the Wings at 2.3 mil in cap space, so if each were signed to $1 million only, they could be under the cap by only moving Eaves' or Tootoo's contract or even via $1 cap relief of burying Samuelsson in the minors (plus Emmerton, for the roster spot). .
Of course, if an arbitrator awarded 2 or 3 of the RFAs a significant raise, that could create all kinds of new problems.
12.1 Eligibility for Player or Club Election of Salary Arbitration.
(a) A Player is eligible for salary arbitration if the Player meets the qualifications set forth in the following chart and in Section 12.1(b) below:
First SPC Signing Age:
Minimum Level of Professional Experience Required to be Eligible for Salary Arbitration
18-20: 4 years professional experience
21: 3 years professional experience
22-23: 2 years professional experience
24 and older: 1 year professional experience
A Player aged 18 or 19 earns a year of professional experience by playing ten (10) or more NHL
Games in a given season. A Player aged 20 or older (or who turns 20 between September 16 and
December 31 of the calendar year in which he signs his first SPC) earns a year of professional
experience by playing ten (10) or more Professional Games under an SPC in a given season.
(b) Only Players who qualify as Restricted Free Agents as described in Section 10.2
of this Agreement, who meet the qualifications in Section 12.1(a) above, and who have not
signed an Offer Sheet are eligible either to elect salary arbitration or be subject to a Club-elected
© As used in this Article, "age," including "First SPC Signing Age," means a
Player's age on September 15 of the calendar year in which he first signs an SPC regardless of
his actual age on the date he signs such SPC.