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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