Are they qualified? A list of players who did and didn’t receive qualifying offers

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At this point, you should be up to date regarding the biggest unrestricted and restricted free agents for 2011. The restricted free agent situations are more complicated than unrestricted ones because the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement gives teams a few advantages to keep their players until they reach the age of 27. Offer sheets, arbitration hearings and qualifying offers all make the restricted process more convoluted than the straightforward (but often riskier) process of targeting unrestricted free agents.

To spare you the legal and financial jargon, an NHL team must hand a pending restricted free agent a qualifying offer in order to retain his negotiating rights. Those offers include a marginal raise from the player’s 2010-11 salary and allow teams to match offer sheets from other teams and possibly file for arbitration if the two sides hit a wall in regard to contract extensions.

Today was the big day for qualifying offers. The gang at HFBoards.com compiled a comprehensive list of who was given a qualifying offer and who wasn’t. Let’s take a look at the full list of players who received qualifying offers first, according to that list.

(Big thanks to Benjamin Wendorf from Arctic Ice for the link. This is a large list, so if you notice any errors, please let us know in the comments. Any updates will be noted within this list, even if they don’t come from HFBoards.com.)

QUALIFIED PLAYERS

ANAHEIM: Dan Sexton, Nick Bonino; Patrick Maroon.

BOSTON: Brad Marchand, RW.

BUFFALO: Nathan Gerbe, C; Marc-Andre Gragnani, D; Andrej Sekera, D; Jhonas Enroth, G; Mike Weber, D.

CALGARY: Leland Irving, G; Brendan Mikkelson, D.

CAROLINA: Brandon Sutter, C; Derek Joslin, D; Bobby Sanguinetti, D; Brett Sutter, LW; Brett Bellemore, D; Oskar Osala, LW (Signed in KHL).

CHICAGO: Michael Frolik, RW; Chris Campoli, D; Viktor Stalberg, LW.

COLORADO: Kyle Cumiskey, D; Ryan Wilson, D; David Jones, RW; Ryan OByrne, D; T.J. Galiardi, LW; Kevin Porter, C.

COLUMBUS: Michael Blunden, RW; Marc Methot, D.

DETROIT: Logan Pyett, D; Jordan Pearce, G; Francis Pare, D.

FLORIDA: Mike Santorelli, C; Shawn Matthias, C; Marc Cheverie, G; Mike Duco, RW; Kenndal McArdle, LW; Tyler Plante, G; Michael Caruso, D.

LOS ANGELES: Brad Richardson, C; Andrew Campbell, D; Marc-Andre Cliche, RW; Richard Clune, RW; Drew Doughty, D; Corey Elkins, LW; Johan Fransson, D; Bud Holloway, C; Trevor Lewis, RW; Alec Martinez, D; David Meckler, F; Patrick Mullen, D; Jeff Zatkoff, G.

MINNESOTA: Darroll Powe, C; James Sheppard, C; Casey Wellman, C; Colton Gillies, C; Jarod Palmer, F; Justin Falk, D; Jeff Penner, D.

MONTREAL: Ryan White, RW; Mathieu Carle, D; Josh Gorges, D; Yannick Weber, D; Ryan Russell, F; Frederic St-Denis, D; Kyle Klubertanz, D (Signed in Sweden).

NASHVILLE: Nick Spaling, C; Matt Halischuk, RW; Sergei Kostitsyn, LW; Shea Weber, D; Linus Klasen, F; Andreas Thuresson, F; Chris Mueller, F.

NEW JERSEY: Matt Corrente, D; Vladimir Zharkov, RW; Alexander Vasyunov, LW; Mark Fraser, D; Jeff Frazee, G; Maxim Noreau, D; Nathan Perkovich, RW; Matt Taormina, D; Steve Zalewski, F.

NY ISLANDERS: Josh Bailey, C; Ty Wishart, D; Blake Comeau, RW; Michael Haley, LW; Jesse Joensuu, LW; Dylan Reese, D.

NY RANGERS: Ryan Callahan, RW; Brandon Dubinsky, LW; Artem Anisimov, C; Brian Boyle, C; Michael Sauer, D; Stu Bickel, D; Chad Johnson, G; Pavel Valentenko, D; John Mitchell, C; Matt McCue, F; Tysen Dowzak, D; Brodie Dupont, F.

PHILADELPHIA: Jakub Voracek, RW; Jon Kalinski, LW; Wayne Simmonds, RW.

PHOENIX: Marc Pouliot, C. Update: Keith Yandle, Kyle Turris, Mikkel Boedker, Brett MacLean and Viktor Tikhonov were also retained. (H/T to Yotes Girl.)

PITTSBURGH: Dustin Jeffrey, F; Brad Thiessen, G.

SAN JOSE: Benn Ferriero, LW; John McCarthy, LW; Jamie McGinn, LW; Frazer McLaren, LW.

ST. LOUIS: T.J. Oshie, RW; Ryan Reaves, RW; Ben Bishop, G.

TAMPA BAY: Bruno Gervais, D; Steven Stamkos, C; Scott Jackson, D; Johan Harju, LW (Signed in Sweden); Riku Helenius, G (Signed in Finland); Ted Purcell, LW.

TORONTO: Tyler Bozak, C; Luca Caputi, LW; Matt Lashoff, D; Clarke MacArthur, LW; Luke Schenn, D; Greg Scott, F; Ben Scrivens, G.

VANCOUVER: Victor Oreskovich, RW; Maxim Lapierre, C; Jannik Hansen, RW.

WASHINGTON: Karl Alzner, D; Francois Bouchard, C; Troy Brouwer, RW; Mathieu Perreault, C; Semyon Varlamov, G.

WINNIPEG: Andrew Ladd, LW; Blake Wheeler, RW.

Again, keep in mind that the aforementioned players haven’t agreed to new deals; their teams just expressed interest in keeping the lines of communication open. Perhaps it might be most interesting to study the list of players who weren’t given qualifying offers, though. Here are some suddenly unrestricted free agents, also from that list.

PLAYERS WHO DID NOT RECIEVE QOs (WILL BECOME UFAs)

ANAHEIM: Kyle Chipchura, C ; Ryan Hillier, LW; John de Gray, D; J.P. Levasseur, G.

BOSTON: Matt Dalton, G; Anton Khudobin, G.

BUFFALO: Felix Schutz, F.

CALGARY: John Armstrong, F; Gord Baldwin, D; Hugo Carpentier, F (Signed with LNAH); Josh Meyers, D; Matt Pelech, D.

CAROLINA: Troy Bodie, RW; Jiri Tlusty, LW.

CHICAGO: Jake Dowell, C.

COLORADO: Philippe Dupuis, C; Brian Elliott, G.

COLUMBUS: Sami Lepisto, D; Anton Stralman, D; Tomas Kana, C (Signed in Czech Republic); Petr Kalus, RW (Signed in Finland); Michael Ratchuk, D; Gustaf Wesslau,G (Signed in Sweden).

EDMONTON: J.F Jacques, LW; Zack Stortini, RW.

FLORIDA: Nicklas Bergfors, RW; Steve Bernier, RW; Byron Bitz, RW.

LOS ANGELES: Rob Bordson, RW.

MINNESOTA: Patrick O’Sullivan, C.

MONTREAL: Alexandre Picard, D; Tom Pyatt, RW; Benoit Pouliot, LW; Dustin Boyd, C; Nigel Dawes, LW.

NASHVILLE: Dan Gendur, F; Mark Santorelli, F.

NEW JERSEY: Anssi Salmela, D.

NY RANGERS: Matt Gilroy, D; Justin Soryal, F; Devin DiDiomete, F.

OTTAWA: Update Cody Bass, Jason Bailey and Ryan Potulny

PHILADELPHIA: Dan Carcillo, LW.

PITTSBURGH: Tyler Kennedy, RW.

SAN JOSE: Patrick Davis, F; Kevin Henderson, F; Carter Hutton, G; Joe Loprieno, D; Nick Schaus, D; Mike Swift, F.

ST. LOUIS: Matt D’Agostini, RW.

TAMPA BAY: Mike Lundin, D; Matt Smaby, D; Alex Berry, F; Stefano Giliati, F; Kevin Quick, D; Vladimir Mihalik, D; Levi Nelson, F; Paul Szccechura, C.

TORONTO: Christian Hanson, C; Brayden Irwin, F; Fabiann Brunnstrom, LW.

VANCOUVER: Lee Sweatt, D.

WASHINGTON: Josh Godfrey, D; Joe Finley, D; Trevor Bruess, F.

WINNIPEG: Rob Schremp, C; Anthony Stewart, RW.

(Note: declining to provide a qualifying offer doesn’t eliminate a player’s former team from signing them to a new deal, though.)

We touched on some of the most interesting omissions, but it might be most interesting to follow the paths of Kennedy and Carcillo. There might be some interest for the likes of Gilroy, O’Sullivan, Lundin and Dowell as well. Meanwhile, Dallas Stars fans probably smile wistfully at the fall of once-fawned-upon import Brunnstrom.

So there you have it. We’ll keep you updated about signings big and small as the free agent frenzy rapidly approaches.

Penguins shouldn’t rush to replace Bonino

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This post is part of Penguins Day on PHT…

Nick Bonino was an important player for Pittsburgh the past two years. So when he signed with Nashville on July 1, it was natural for Penguins fans to want an immediate replacement.

But for GM Jim Rutherford, finding a new third-line center may take some time. The Penguins might even start the season without knowing who it will be.

What Rutherford wants to avoid is panicking and being forced into a mistake. All the other general managers are well-aware of what he needs. He’s probably been thrown a few anvils already.

“There’s a couple of guys I could acquire right now,” Rutherford told the Post-Gazette on Wednesday. “I feel like there’s another group of guys that could possibly be available here soon. Kind of just waiting to see if that happens. Something could happen in the very near future or this could drag on for a little while.”

If nothing is done by the start of the season, the Penguins could give someone like Jake Guentzel a chance to take over Bonino’s role. Or, if they’d prefer to keep Guentzel in the top six, maybe a youngster like Daniel Sprong or Zach Aston-Reese would be game to try, at least on a temporary basis.

It should be noted that Rutherford has proven a savvy mid-season trader. In 2015-16, he brought in Carl Hagelin and Trevor Daley, a couple of veterans who played big roles on the way to a Stanley Cup title. And then, last season, he acquired Ron Hainsey, who likewise played a key part in a championship.

Perhaps owing to that experience, Rutherford says he’s more comfortable waiting to unearth a solution than “trading for somebody where I’m not sure whether they can help us or not.”

In fairness, it’s not easy to just replace a productive third-line center whose salary was a bargain. The Penguins had Bonino for a cap hit of just $1.9 million, and he turned his time in Pittsburgh into a four-year, $16.4 million deal with the Predators.

One potential target that’s come up in speculation is the Maple Leafs’ Tyler Bozak, who just so happens to be Phil Kessel‘s good friend and former center.

Bozak, 31, has one year left on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent, a status that naturally lends itself to trade speculation.

But with a $4.1 million cap hit, making room for Bozak could be a challenge for the Penguins. And on top of that, the Leafs are bound to ask a fair bit for a guy who had 55 points (18G, 37A) last season.

That’s why it’s so hard to win back-to-back Stanley Cups in today’s NHL. The Penguins were lucky to bring back mostly the same roster last season.

Things will be different in 2017-18.

Related: Matt Murray discusses the ‘new look’ Penguins

Tavares says ‘no rush’ to sign extension with Isles

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John Tavares keeps saying all the right things about his future with the New York Islanders.

But that doesn’t change the fact he still doesn’t have a contract extension in place.

Tavares, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, spoke with Newsday yesterday, telling the newspaper he was in “no rush” to sign and that he’s comfortable to just “let the process run its course, keep the lines of communication open, keep it all internal.”

It’s been reported that the Isles’ uncertain arena situation could be complicating matters. It’s still not clear where the team will call home for the long term.

On that topic, Tavares chose to avoid making any definitive statements.

“The possibility with Belmont and that RFP coming out, there’s great potential there,” the 26-year-old said. “We’ll see where it goes. A lot of those things are out of my hands. Some things I don’t try to worry about them too, too much. I’m just a hockey player. I try to be as best prepared as I can be. It’s a big decision obviously because it’s eight years of my career, really entering into my prime years and a great opportunity for myself to achieve what I set out to achieve when I was a kid, making it to the NHL, wanting to win a Stanley Cup and wanting to do that with the Islanders.”

There’s more in the interview, including his thoughts on the Isles’ offseason moves. Click here to give it a read.

Tavares also spoke with Newday about the thumb surgery he had in April. All’s well on that front, according to the captain.  

“I felt I didn’t want this reoccurring and the recovery time was only six weeks,” he said, “so it was the right thing to do once the season ended.”

Related: Tavares open to signing contract extension this summer

Under Pressure: Derrick Pouliot (again)

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For the second straight year, Derrick Pouliot is our pick for the Pittsburgh player under the most pressure heading into the season.

Perhaps we should just focus on someone else, but the Penguins gave the 23-year-old defenseman a one-year contract extension in July. The eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft, Pouliot knows time is running short to prove Pittsburgh didn’t make a big mistake.

It should be compelling to watch how he fares.

“I’ve got to make an impact right away and show that I belong in the NHL,” he said, per the Post-Gazette. “It’s been three years now. I haven’t fully established myself yet. I want to take it one step at a time and build as the year goes on.”

Pouliot felt he had a strong finish to his AHL season, and perhaps that will help his confidence heading into camp.

But it’s worth noting that he’s no longer exempt from waivers. So unless he earns a spot, that could mean a change of scenery, with the Penguins either losing him for nothing or trading him for pennies on the dollar.

Pouliot could feasibly crack the opening roster as Pittsburgh’s eighth defenseman, behind Kris Letang, Justin Schultz, Brian Dumoulin, Olli Maatta, Ian Cole, Chad Ruhwedel and new addition Matt Hunwick.

He could then languish on that roster until an injury gives him a chance to play.

The first step, though, is coming into camp and building off the back half of last season.

“For me to establish myself as an NHL defenseman, a regular guy in the lineup, it’s kind of playing how I ended the season: solid defensively, consistent in that regard,” Pouliot said, per the Tribune-Review. “That’s been one thing that’s always been brought up about me, inconsistency. So I think it’s starting with that and building each game.”

Looking to make the leap: Zach Aston-Reese

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This post is part of Penguins Day on PHT…

With a number of departures from a roster that won back-to-back Stanley Cups, it’s imperative that the Pittsburgh Penguins get a push from some of their prospects in 2017-18.

One of the top candidates to earn a regular spot is forward Zach Aston-Reese, a 23-year-old who just wrapped up an impressive career at Northeastern University.

Aston-Reese signed with the Pens in March, hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow undrafted NCAA products Chris Kunitz and Conor Sheary.

In a twist, Kunitz is one of those departed players that Aston-Reese may help replace.

“He was a college free agent, too, and kind of a goal scorer his last couple years in college,” Aston-Reese said of Kunitz, per NHL.com. “Just made a career for himself playing with good guys and being able to put the puck in the back of the net.”

Aston-Reese scored 31 goals in 38 games for the Huskies last season, making him a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

But despite all the accolades, he knows he’s still just a prospect, with a lot left to learn, and a lot left to prove.

“Whether we start up top or down in Wilkes-Barre, I think it’s important to be in the same mindset that, you’re trying to get better every day you show up to the rink,” he said, per the Post-Gazette. “If we do get that opportunity, we need to have a good mindset, produce and do what they ask of us.”