Photo Credit: Bruce Fedyck / USA TODAY Sports

Flames extend qualifying offers to nine players

The free agent season is almost upon us, and the Calgary Flames have announced which potential restricted free agents they’ve given qualifying offers.

Nine players received qualifying offers:

  • Goaltenders David Rittich and Jon Gillies
  • Defensemen Brett Kulak and Noah Hanifin
  • Forwards Garnet Hathaway, Mark Jankowski, Elias Lindholm, Morgan Klimchuk and Hunter Shinkaruk

Five players did not receive qualifying offers and will become unrestricted free agents on July 1: forwards Austin Carroll, Emile Poirier, Nick Shore, Daniel Pribyl and Hunter Smith.

None of the qualifications are terribly surprising, with the potential exception of Shinkaruk. A left winger and a 2013 first round pick, Shinkaruk has been lapped by many recent organizational acquisitions, including Andrew Mangiapane. But he’s still a useful player at the American Hockey League level.

The five non-qualified players are fairly logical, for the most part. As minor league depth players, Carroll and Smith shouldn’t be eating up NHL system contracts. As mean as it sounds, the same can be said for Poirier, as he was a third line player in Stockton. Pribyl signed a contract in the Czech Republic six weeks ago and given that he seemingly has no plans to go back to North American there wasn’t much point in qualifying him to retain his rights.

As for Shore, (a) he was entitled to a one-way qualifying offer worth $971,000 based upon his level of experience and (b) he has arbitration rights. The Flames may still have interest in him, but they likely (a) didn’t want to run the risk that he’d accept a $971,000 deal and (b) didn’t want to run the risk of going to arbitration with him. It’s a good bet that they’re still negotiating with him.


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  • everton fc

    Unless they are going after Derek Ryan, over Shore?

    Now I hope they can find some money for Wotherspoon as our #7, once they move Stone to Ottawa! 😉

    • Mickey O

      This has got the Byron situation written all over it. By trying to save a few shekels on Shore they risk losing him if they still might bring him back. Montreal is still screaming for help at centre, they will be looking at an over-pay on just about anyone who can win a face-off.

      Marcus Hogstrom figures to be the 7th defenseman this year. He fits the profile to be honest.

    • Korcan

      Yeah, it kinda looks like they may be making room for Ryan. I hope RP is correct and they keep Shore, just on a different deal — i really like his game. Maybe they will have him play wing alongside Ryan (if Ryan is signed). Gives them another rhs center. But now they are getting a log jam 4th line righties.

      • Korcan

        Replying to my own post. Maybe the 4th line could look something like Mangiapane(Klimchuk)/Ryan/Shore. Hathaway and Lazar as 13/14 forwards. And Brouwer? Sayonara, my friend (one can wish, Right?).

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      As it stands, he would have to beat out Valimaki and Stone for the 7th.
      He should have played last season over Bart-man. What a waste. He may still sign, but I have my doubts they bother or he even wants to sign with us.

  • The GREAT WW

    Only surprised by Shore…but to your point; they may still be negotiating?

    Good for Hathaway, one of just a few players left with a bit of nasty….


  • TurkeyLips

    Really hope we don’t lose Shore and I hope Pike’s anaylsis is accurate. It seems Poirier is an unfortunately lost asset.

    Our forward group still looks promising. We’re definitely going to miss Ferland’s team-leading hits. Hopefully Hathaway has a solid season as his game has always been good in that department. Bennett too…

    But it is truly insane to think the oldest member of our core group is now Johnny Gaudreau, at 24 ripe years of age. He leads a younger Monahan, Lindholm, Jankowski, Bennett, Andersson, Hanifin, and Valimaki. That is a prototypical youth group right there.

      • Sol Goode

        He is a pretty solid bottom 6 player, what more do you need from him besides more points? His zone entries are top notch, the puck goes the right direction when he is on the ice. We need more players like that. I would put Mangiapane on a line with Shore and Lazar, just to see how it would work.

          • Sol Goode

            I know you didn’t say that but I’m just saying you would be hard pressed to find a player that does all the things he does. I think it is wiser to keep him and find another just like him.

          • Sol Goode

            I also think we should avoid free agency and start promoting players from within to see what they can do. Players like Klimchuk and Mangiapane can skate pretty well and have good heads for the game. There is no point in over paying a free agent.

          • C Watson

            For those that gave me the “trashes”.
            65 games – 2 goals 10 assists 12 points -8 plus/minus.
            This is a guy that helps a bottom six that cannot score.

          • Mickey O

            There’s a certain degree of ego involved with Lazar on Treliving’s end. Highly doubt Treliving waives him after blowing a second rounder on him. To me, Lazar was a different player from the start of the year until the end. At the start of the season he was nervous and couldn’t take a pass to save his life. By then a lot of fans had made up their mind about him.

            But at the end of the season he played a lot better. Stajan and Lazar were actually pretty effective, and were part of the best line on the ice some nights. Neither of those guys mailed it in.

            Maybe, just maybe, they intend to give him a legitimate shot at winning the 4C (or 4RW) position this year. Plus, he was effective at killing penalties whenever Gulutzan gave him a shot.

          • C Watson

            Mickey O – that’s a lot of love to give a guy who has 245 NHL games in his resume and still hasn’t figured it out. He is a great guy but he is taking a spot that someone with more upside should be filling.

  • WidemansAnger

    Seems like everyone is waiting to be disappointed, Guletzen really knew how to make you go WTF? I think Peters/Husk/Ward are not going to make us endure the doubts instilled in us fans from the past coach(s).

    • everton fc

      Not trying to be nasty here – I, too, wondered is Yakupov would be a gd fit here, the past two years. Not any more. Yakupov could be the biggest bust of any #1 pick, ever. He’s no longer an NHL-level sniper. He’d be wise to consider a return to the KHL.

          • Mickey O

            Peters has said he’s a pairings guy. So Gaudreau – Monahan / Backlund – Frolik / Bennett – Jankowski. Tkachuk is so good he can float anywhere in the top 9 on both wings. That’s why Peters wants to try Byng at RW in pre-season.

            Always said that the open spot on Backlund’s line is the apprenticeship position. Frolik can play both wings. Of the youngsters…Foo looks to have the inside track to play on the right side of Backlund, and flip Frolik to LW. That leaves Tkachuk to boost the Bennett – Jankowski combo. Tkachuk is a “slight” improvement over Hathaway.

  • Mickey O

    Maybe not the right article to post this. But continuing with my little theory of the Flames really trying to get Brady Tkachuk using the going-back-to-school bluff. Check out the first 15 seconds of this video from his older brother:


    Byng gets all tongue tied, and then says: “I’m very happy, or excited, to get him…” Get him where, young Matthew? In the NHL or on the Flames?

    Brady Tkachuk: “I’ve talked things over with my parents, and I agree that education is very important to me. My mom really wants me to get a degree, so I’ll be staying in school.”

    Imagine if Brady made that announcement. What are the Sens going to do now?

    But wait, there’s more:


    “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but it’ll be us to figure out down the road,” Keith Tkachuk told Postmedia’s Kristen Anderson on Friday night.

    “Right now, he’s planning on going back to school. It’s different for everyone. We have to make sure it’s the right decision, but we have to do what’s best for Brady.”

    The wheels are in motion…

  • Any appetite for Anthony Duclair (he wasn’t qualified today)?

    Listening to 960 today; Pinder, PL and Boomer all indicated that they didn’t think the Flames were done trying to add to their top 6… They were right on DH moving out… So, what is going to land us another top 6 fw? Who do we trade? Sign a FA?

    Backland and someone else (of value) for ROR?

    Really hope Stone (who is of some value to the right team) and TB are some how off the books.

    • FL?MES

      If there’s a deal to be had I’m sure Dollar Tre will be all over it….please no more value deals Tre. I can’t think of one that has worked out so far

      • FL?MES

        So instead of trashing me please enlighten me as to which ‘value’ player Tre has brought in that had worked out? None of them are on the roster anymore so…

  • Styxx

    1RW position
    1) Sign Neal for 4 years max <$5M
    2) Stone to NYR for Kevin Hayes RW OR
    3) Brodie to PIT for Kessel RW & PIT retain $2M/yr for 4 yrs

    Buy out Brouwer
    Sign Mike Green & Ryan Reaves for 2 years if ~$1.5M/yr



      • FL?MES

        Janko as 4C is a waste. He needs to play with decent players. If the plan is to drop him to the 4th line you might as well trade him to a team where he’ll get a chance to perform at a higher level.

        If he track Janko’s career path it has been slow and methodical. I believe he is a late bloomer with a higher ceiling.

    • FL?MES

      Neil and Kessel, both for 4 years? I’m excited because we just got younger after the Hamilton trade. I just don’t have much appetite for older guys who are going to slow down, depreciate, and be tough to move as their life cycles wind down.

      Even Hayes makes me gag a bit. He didn’t want to come here in the first place and is ok but nothing special.

      • everton fc

        If forced to take any of Neal/Kessel/Hayes… I’d take Kessel. But his cap hit is frightening. Still, I think he’ll produce well into his 30s. He’s durable – has played 82 games every season since 2010-11, probably would have done the same in the strike-shortened season, where he also played every game.

        • Mickey O

          That’s the beautiful thing about free agency – you don’t have to sign anyone! In the salary cap era, every GM should ask themselves a simple question: “If this deal goes sideways, will I be able to move the contract?”

          If the answer is, “with great difficulty, without a sweetener” then they should give pause. You can likely get away with one bad contract, but two or more and you are really handcuffing yourself. A GM has to stay nimble, and get in and out of contracts as situations change.

    • everton fc

      If the Pens were willing to eat salary, I’d be interested in Kessel. But I think moving Brodie makes us too thin, on the backend. I get a sense he and Gio will shine. Truth be told, Hamilton struggled in pre-season when he got here, until he was paired w/Giordano. Gio has the ability (it seems) to get a d-man back on track. And I have no fear of a Kulak/Andersson pairing.

      Can you imagine Gaudreau-Monahan-Kessel?

  • Chucky

    I was surprised about Shore but assume that this means they believe that Dube, Gawdin or Phillips is ready to make the jump.

    I would like to see if a line of Backlund, Frolik and Lazar are an effective shutdown line. Lazar seems to have the speed and is responsible enough to take the duty, he also seems to have enough physical presence to handle an opposition power forward. He has also shown very good penalty killing ability and it would be good to have three of the PK guys on one line, with Backlund / Frolik as the first pairing and Lazar / Hathaway as the second pair after the kill they can respond with two scoring lines to take back the momentum.
    If it works this would make the top 6 scoring line forwards Gaudreau, Monahan, Tkachuk, Bennett, Jankowski and Lindholm. Young, fast, creative with a little bit of grit could be fun.

    • everton fc

      Gawdin’s more of a gamble, in my opinion. Phillips will need some time in the “A”. Dube’s the closest.

      Lazar, to me, is a 4th liner, at best. Bennett-Backlund-Tkachuk would be an interesting 2nd line, but Tkachuk, to me, is a 1st line player, over Lindholm.

      • Chucky

        There are a lot of 4th line players out there and to me it looks like Lazar may have specific capabilities that are above 4th line level. He seems to have about 10th line scoring touch but maybe 1st line wheels, it would be nice if they could find a way to use the superior talents without being effected by the lower level talents.
        Hopefully the Flames will not worry about first and second line status. Is Malkin the Penguins second line centre at $9.5 million or is it Crosby at $8.7 million? What would make me happy is two high scoring lines (minimum 20 goals each player), one shutdown line (average 15 goals per player and everybody more than +10) and an energy line that is able to out hustle the other team and turn the momentum.

    • oilcanboyd

      Tre did say that he isn’t finished getting the Flames help this year – so a top 6 forward may still be in the works. Lazar skates a lot but doen’t accomplish much…

    • Mickey O

      Can’t see it. He’s coming off a big contract and will be 29 once the season starts. He’s a leftie as well who doesn’t take face-offs. The Flames need another RHS in the line-up.