The NHL administrative nightmare has no off-season. After dealing with his unrestricted free agents Jeff Petry and Torrey Mitchell, Marc Bergevin and his staff has turned attention to the organization’s eight restricted free agents (RFA’s).
La Presse reports the team filed “qualifying offers” to six of their eight RFA’s including Alex Galchenyuk, Brian Flynn and minor leaguers Jarred Tinordi, Christian Thomas, Michael Bournival and Magnus Nygren. Nygren missed most of last season with post condussion syndrome.
Under the NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement in order to retain negotiating rights to a player the qualifying deadline is the day following the Entry Draft, which this year will be June 29th. If a player does not receive notice from his current team by that date he can become an unrestricted free agent on July first. (In 2009 the Chicago Blackhawks failed to file paperwork at the deadline and eight RFA players including Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker, Ben Eager and Troy Brouwer were classified as unrestricted free agents).
I’m a little surprised that left wing Eric Tangradi wasn’t tendered after his late season Hamilton scoring surge. Tangradi came to the Canadiens in the Peter Budaj trade last October. Forward Drayson Bowman also failed to get an offer. The former Carolina Hurricane was signed to a one year – twoway contract out of training camp.
Each NHL team is allowed to protect 90 players on it’s ‘reserve’ list. More importantly, including their 23 man NHL roster they are permitted to have only a total of 50 players under contract. (You can click on the full reserve list here)
Including the six qualified players, the Canadiens contract total would be 44, leaving six slots open for whatever dealing Bergevin might consider over the coming months. If the Canadiens want to turn him pro, Bergevin is going to have to get former draft choice and Czech League rookie Martin Reway under contract which would bring the total to 45.
Going over the 50-contract limit puts the team in jeopardy of losing future draft choices at the commissioner’s discretion.