Former first-rounder Gormley accepts Coyotes’ qualifying offer

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Defenseman Brandon Gormley might just be 23 years old, but he’s running out of chances to prove that he can be a regular in the NHL.

Gormley was a restricted free agent this summer and ended up accepting the Arizona Coyotes’ qualifying offer, according to Fox Sports Arizona. Based on the fact that he came with a $810,000 annual cap hit at the NHL level last season, Arizona had to qualify him at $850,500. The deal is two-ways and he would earn $67,500 if he spends the 2015-16 campaign in the minors, but he would first have to clear waivers.

He was taken with the 13th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but has struggled to maintain a roster spot with the Coyotes. He had four points in 27 contests with Arizona in 2014-15 and another 10 points in 23 AHL games.

“He’s at a stage where it’s either fish or cut bait, to be honest,” Coyotes GM Don Maloney said. “This offseason and training camp are very important for him. The good thing is, we have roster room available for him to get the job if he earns it.”