Today was the deadline for tendering qualifying offers for RFA’s. As reported by Vicki Hall on twitter, the Flames did not qualify a whole heap of their standing restricted free agents, including former first round pick Matt Pelech as well as Gord Baldwin, John Armstrong and Josh Meyers.
Matt Pelech was picked in 2005 and his development has been glacial ever since he turned pro. Constantly battling injury woes, Pelech never seemed able to really press for a roster spot on the big club, although certain segments of the Flames fanbase were prepared to give the big, defensive rearguard at least another year to try to make the leap. Pat and I discused Pelech during Flamesnation radio this weekend and I shared the fact that I’d heard Calgary had classified Pelech "NP" (non prospect) recently. Looks like that is the case.
Pat also tried to make a case for Gord Baldwin during the same conversation, but I’ve always been skeptical myself. Baldwin was also picked in 2005, but has bounced around the ECHL and AHL during his pro career. In my live viewings of Baldwin, his skating and mobility has always struck me as well below NHL-grade, so it comes as no surprise to me personally to see Baldwin cut loose.
John Armstrong may come as a surprise to some folks, especially because of how much the prior regime seemed to like the player. I never understood the love myself – aside from a nice showing during a single pre-season, Armstrong never showed anything to indicate he’d be an NHLer. The guy had some tools, but could never put them together to form a compelling package. And he was always injured to boot.
As for Josh Meyers, he was always a bit of tweener, even at the AHL level. He’s 26 years-old and his ceiling is AHL vet at best.
None of the non-signings are overly impactful on the organization, although it’s notable to see Feaster cutting ties with a number of former Sutter first rounders and projects. The Flames offseason face-lift continues.