The Rangers had sent or delivered qualifying offers by Monday to five of their six restricted free agents, aiming to protect their rights to top-pair defenseman Ryan McDonagh, top center Derek Stepan, top-six winger Carl Hagelin, playmaker Mats Zuccarello and newly-acquired depth defenseman Justin Falk.

A qualifying offer is a one-year contract offer that acts as a starting point in negotiations and is subject to salary arbitration, which can be elected by either player or club in every situation but Stepanís, in which only the Rangers can elect arbitration for the 23-year-old.

A qualifying offer helps to protect a playerís rights because it gives the Rangers the right of first refusal in the event another team submits an offer sheet for one of their restricted free agents, and it also guarantees the Blueshirts draft-pick compensation in the event New York loses one of its RFAs to an offer sheet.
Read on