Qualifying Offer Deadline - Transactions Today
With the NHL Entry Draft behind us, the NHL’s equally exciting free agency period is just a few anxious hours away. Today is the deadline for teams to dish out qualifying offers to their restricted free agents. If clubs don’t tender a qualifying offer to a player then he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The list of players that did not receive qualifying offers and thus, are unrestricted in two days is as follows:
Anaheim – Michal Birner, Erik Christensen, Chad Painchaud. A bit surprising that Christensen was let go, but he really doesn’t fit the Ducks plans, especially with a small forward in Andrew Ebbett already in the lineup for next year.
Atlanta – Chris Thorburn and Dan Turple. Thorburn is a former Penguin that has become a decent fourth line player at this level. The Thrashers had acquired him from Pittsburgh for a third round pick.
Boston – Ned Lukacevic and Wacey Rabbit. No surprises here.
Calgary – Adam Cracknell, Aki Seitsonen. No surprises here either.
Colorado – Cody McCormick. Is a solid fourth line player and penalty killer.
Columbus – Trevor Hendrikx, Jon Landry, Jiri Novotny, Peter Pohl, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, John Vigilante, Kyle Wharton. The Jackets decided that the big Norwegian defenseman, Tollefsen, was not in their future plans. While his skating is suspect, he’s a hard-hitting, very tough and aggressive blueliner that would fit in well as a #7 guy. Jiri Novotny can’t seem to find a niche at this level and will likely head back to Europe. John Vigilante has a very cool name.
Dallas – John Lammers. Addition by subtraction.
Florida – Steve Eminger, Tanner Glass, Drew Larman, Franklin MacDonald, David Shantz, Anthony Stewart. A couple of former first rounders in Anthony Stewart and Steve Eminger. Eminger has been a part of some pretty notable deals recently, most recently he was dealt for Noah Welch. Though he would have a strong case in arbitration, a risk the Panthers aren’t willing to take. They may yet sign him after July 1. Anthony Stewart has been a major disappointment for years at the pro level and the Panthers have finally decided part ties with him.
Los Angeles – Vladimir Dravecky, Danny Taylor. Par for the course.
Minnesota – Paul Albers, Riley Emmerson, Dan Fritsche, Petr Olvecky. Obviously the new boss, Chuck Fletcher, is not enamored with Fritsche – a player that hasn’t lived up to his hype over the years. Olvecky is a player that got a chance to show his stuff a bit this year, but obviously didn’t convince the Wild brass that he could earn a spot next year. Emmerson is an immense d-man that hasn’t panned out to date.
Montreal – Mathieu Aubin, Shawn Belle, Loic Lacasse, Olivier Latendresse. Nothing a major note here. Belle has just cemented himself as a bust.
Nashville – Tim Ramholt. Makes sense.
New Jersey –
New York Islanders – Peter Mannino. Mistakenly received time in net this year while every other goalie in the system was injured. Played very poorly. With 2009 draft pick Mikko Koskinen already 21 years old – the Isles can trim the fat out of their goalie depth.
New York Rangers – Fredrik Sjostrom. The speedy penalty killer was let go, and likely to follow is Blair Betts – especially after the Oilers dealt Kyle Brodziak away at the draft. The Rangers penalty kill could be in real bad shape next season.
Ottawa – Brendan Bell. Below average defenseman that will probably drift about the league as a 6/7/8 blueliner.
Pittsburgh – Dave Brown. Not much of a shock after toiling in the ECHL last season. When Brad Theissen signed during the playoffs, the writing was on the wall.
San Jose – Riley Armstrong, Taylor Dakers, T.J. Fox, Marcel Goc, Lukas Kaspar, Mike Morris, Tomas Plihal, Ashton Rome. A bit of house cleaning here by the Sharks, it’s a shame that they’re losing the wrong players (I would have started with number 19 for instance). Either way, a decent bottom-sixer and defensive forward in Goc gets let go. Kaspar is a former first round pick that has proven that he really can’t handle the speed of the NHL game. I have to assume he’s off to Europe, where he will excel.
St. Louis – Jeff Woywitka. This comes as a bit of a surprise to me. I thought the former first round pick looked okay this season filling in for various injuries. Either way, this is a guy that can be a 5/6/7 guy for some lower tier clubs in this league.
Tampa Bay – Justin Keller, Mike McKenna. McKenna got some time this year in Tampa, it should be his last time at the NHL level. He’s not an NHL-caliber netminder in my opinion.
Washington – Andrew Joudrey, Darren Machesney, Travis Morin, Sasha Pokulok. Nothing major to lose here, the Caps drafting of goaltenders recently has prompted Machesney’s departure. Former first rounder Pokulok has suffered some concussion problems and has been largely ineffective.
The remains will be filled in as they are gathered.
Meanwhile, the buyout window is closing. Blues defenseman Jay McKee, Panthers center Brett McLean and Bruins forward Peter Schaefer have all been placed on unconditional waivers with the intent to buyout their respective contracts. I wouldn’t expect any team to claim these players and buyouts should go as planned.
The Pittsburgh Penguins have re-signed forward Craig Adams to a two-year deal worth $550,000 per season. In addition, they’ve signed winger Bill Guerin to a one-year contract worth $2 million.
The Colorado Avalanche have re-signed goaltender Peter Budaj to a one-year deal. All they need is a starter now.
Jussi Jokinen and the Carolina Hurricanes have agreed to terms on a two-year contract worth $3.4 million.
The St. Louis Blues have signed identical deals with defenseman Mike Weaver and forward Brad Winchester – one year, $800,000.