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Shane O'Brien gets qualifying offer from Vancouver

There was some speculation that Shane O’Brien, after a tremendously
up and down season with the Canucks, would become a free agent this
summer. It was unknown at the time whether the Canucks would be willing
to keep the defenseman, after he had issues with his weight and attitude
at different parts of the season.

O’Brien stated after the season
that he’d like to remain in Vancouver, and now he’s got his wish. The
Canucks extended a qualifying offer worth $1.6 million to the
defenseman, keeping him for at least one more season with Vancouver.

Knowing
just how much O’Brien loves the team — and especially the city — he’d
like to get a multi-year contract worked out as well. I’m sure the
Canucks will just wait and see how he performs this next season before
making any sort of commitment.

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    2010 NHL Free Agency: Ray Whitney to test the market

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    Ray Whitney could be a interesting target once free agency starts on
    Friday. He’s an experienced and still skilled forward who put up 58
    points last season with Carolina.

    While the Canes attempted to
    reach an agreement with Whitney and his agent this past week, it looks
    as though Whitney will be testing the market this summer.

    GM Jim
    Rutherford is still optimistic he signs with the Canes. Per Canes Now:

    “We’re keeping the door open and hoping that he’ll come back to us,”
    Rutherford said.

    The team and Whitney’s agent were supposedly nowhere near close
    financially on a potential deal, so now the Hurricanes hope that Whitney
    isn’t overwhelmed by a better offer elsewhere. With the free agent
    market not all that great this summer, it’s likely Whitney will find a
    better deal with another team.

    2010 NHL Free Agency: Qualifying offers update

    The news on the qualifying offers being filed by teams across the NHL
    is
    starting to fly in, and here’s an update on some of the bigger names
    given offers by their respective teams. This isn’t all the players that have been given offers, just a snapshot:

    Ben Eager – Atlanta

    Ondrej
    Pavelec – Atlanta

    Niclas Bergfors – Atlanta

    Tomas
    Fleishmann – Washington

    Jeff Shultz – Washington

    Eric Fehr –
    Washingotn

    James Wisniewski – Anaheim

    David Clarkson – New
    Jersey

    Tyler Eckford – New Jersey

    Nikolai Kulemin – Toronto

    Christian
    Hanson – Toronto

    Anaheims Ducks qualify Bobby Ryan, still working on contract extension

    Perhaps the most surprising, and under the radar, news of this past
    week was when Ducks GM Bob Murray revealed that the Ducks had given
    forward Bobby Ryan a contract offer in the range of five-years, $20-$25
    million — and that Ryan had reportedly turned that offer down.

    That
    supposedly put Ryan’s future with the team in doubt, as it’s unlikely
    he’s worth more than $5 million a season as this point. Murray quelled
    that speculation, however, stating that the team
    will  qualify Ryan before the RFA deadline today.

    “We’re going to do what is right for the organization,” he said. “I’m
    in no hurry to do anything whatsoever.”

    When asked if he’ll match any offer sheet that could come Ryan’s way
    or sit back and consider the amount, Murray flatly said, “If somebody
    wants to give him an offer sheet, we have lots of space. We’ll match.”

    Today, the Ducks did in fact send a qualifying offer to Ryan.
    Negotiations will certainly continue, but it doesn’t appear that Murray
    is in any rush to overpay for Ryan. They’ll keep working on an extension, but I don’t see the Ducks budging much from their original offer.

    Cheechoo, Kotalik among those placed on waivers

    On the afternoon that NHL teams are required to file qualifying
    offers for their restricted free agents, we have news of a number of
    players who have been placed on waivers and will become UFA’s on July 1.

    Jonathan Cheecho (Ottawa), Petteri Nokelainen and Jim Vandermeer
    (Phoenix), Ville Koistinen (Florida) and Alex Kotalik of the Calgary
    Flames were all placed on waivers, with their respective teams expecting
    to buy out their contracts if they do indeed clear waivers. They could
    also be picked up by another team, who would then be on the hook for the
    rest of their contract.

    The two most notable names on that list are Cheechoo and Kotalik.
    Kotalik was nothing but a looming disappointment in New York and
    Calgary last season, with just three goals with the Flames after he was
    acquired from the Rangers via trade. If the Flames don’t buy him out, he
    may be reassigned to the AHL or Europe.

    For Cheechoo, it’s likely
    he spends next season in the AHL. If the Senators do buy out his
    contract, it’s going to be tough for the winger to get a one-way
    contract after several years of struggling offensively. He had just five
    goals in 61 games last season, just five years out from leading in the
    NHL in goals scored.