Monday, June 27, 2011

Notable Players Not Qualified on Monday

This could be one long list, the list of players that were not qualified with offers as restricted free agents, which means they will become unrestricted free agents on July 1st. This is a way for teams to easily take care of letting go some players that are not of age for Group V unrestricted free agency, so they can move on with their careers and the teams can have some more flexibility.

Kyle Chipchura was the most notable potential restricted free agent that the Ducks did not qualify on Monday, letting him fly off to greener pastures. Chipchura finished the 2011 season with only 2 points in 40 games.

The Hurricanes have let 23-year old Czech forward Jiri Tlusty go on Monday, not qualifying him to an offer before the deadline. In 2011, Tlusty only played in 57 games and picked up 12 points, so his value has really dropped off the map in recent years. I'd bet on him going back to Europe before too long.

The Blackhawks dropped Jake Dowell from their list of things to do this Summer, not qualifying the 26-year old forward to a contract offer. Dowell played in 79 games for the club in 2011, picking up 21 points. He might land on his feet somewhere, probably Florida.

Goaltender Brian Elliot was not qualified by the Avalanche on Monday, which really opens up the number one job in the Colorado nets come training camp. Elliot must not have impressed in his short stay for an already dying team, so making him into a free agent will open up the spot for someone else. Also getting the boot, Philippe Dupuis, a depth forward that played 74 games and picked up 17 points.

Doesn't look like we'll be seeing Zach Stortini in an Oilers' uniform in 2012, as they didn't qualify their biggest enforcer over the last few years. I don't think I could be too confident that we would see Stortini anywhere after this Summer, but stranger things have happened before.

The Panthers are continuing to re-shape their line-up, giving themselves a little bit more flexibility in their Summer. Niclas Bergfors, Steve Bernier and Byron Bitz were not given qualifying offers and they will all head to free agency.  Bergfors has not had much success after leaving the Devils in the Ilya Kovalchuk deal, but his 36 points in 72 games between Atlanta and Florida may still attract some attention on July 1st.

The Minnesota Wild decided to part ways with 26-year old forward Patrick O'Sullivan, not qualifying him with a contract offer, thus making him into an unrestricted free agent on July 1st. O'Sullivan has had more than his fair share of health issues and it looks like the Wild are making a clean break away from any more of that trouble.

The Canadiens did not qualify a few forwards, including Benoit Pouliot, Alexandre Picard and Tom Pyatt, giving them all full free agency rights. Pouliot will be the most attractive of the three on the market, as he finished with 30 points in 79 games for Montreal.  Picard and Pyatt may get some attention later on in the Summer.

Defenseman Anssi Salmela was not qualified on Monday, but the Devils haven't ruled out re-signing the 26-year old Finn, citing arbitration rights as a good reason to cut him loose. With free agency, the Devils can play a meaner game of hard ball, but obviously accept the risk of losing out on him to some team that will pay more for him.

26-year old defenseman Matt Gilroy did not receive a qualifying offer from the Rangers, but a couple seasons worth of sub-par offense from a kid coming out of college with a lot of hype will do that to a guy. Gilroy may not have been a fit in the Big Apple, so I could see him getting another shot elsewhere.

Among those players not qualified by the Philadelphia Flyers was forward Dan Carcillo, who only picked up 6 points in 57 games in the regular season and was probably a bit more of a liability than he was a help on most nights. His grit and his pest tendencies may give him another shot at another club, but we will have to wait and see there.

In what could be another arbitration situation, one that the Penguins may want to steer clear of with the potential of Jaromir Jagr returning, Tyler Kennedy has also been moved into the unrestricted free agent bin on Monday. He had 45 points in 79 games for the Penguins, making him into a good candidate for quick removal.

The Blues have decided to part ways with Matt D'Agostini on Monday, not offering a new deal to the 24-year old forward. D'Agostini picked up 46 points in all 82 games for the Blues in 2011, which may make him into a good pick-up for team as a depth player. There are enough of those teams out there for him to get picked by.

Finally, in Winnipeg (still with the Thrashers logo until a new one arrives), both Anthony Stewart and Rob Schremp were not qualified as restricted free agents, giving them a free pass to free agency, barring a new deal before Friday.  Stewart had 39 points in 80 games, while Schremp had 26 points in 63 games, Stewart may have some lives left in the league, but Schremp might quickly be running out of options.

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