The Calgary Flames have announced their qualifying offers (QOs) for their group of restricted free agents (RFAs). Across the organisation, a total of eight QOs were tendered prior to the QO deadline. The club had a total of 10 RFAs this offseason and were expected to let the signing rights to some of these players lapse. However, there were still some surprises in the fold. Let’s check out the latest statuses for the Flames’ RFAs.
Calgary Flames qualifying offers
From the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, these are the qualifying offer amounts that needed to be tendered for each player, based on the base salary of their set-to-expire contracts:
|Base Salary Range||Qualifying Offer as a Percentage of Base Salary|
|$0 to $660K||110%|
|$660K to $1M||105%|
|$1M and over||100%|
For QOs that land in the middle range of being between $660K and $1M, the dollar amount cannot exceed $1M after the 105% multiplier, meaning if a player’s previous contract was between $952,380 to $999,999, their QO would cap out at $1M. With league minimum contracts, most QOs for RFAs typically fall into the middle or top tier.
Among the eight Flames to receive QOs, they are:
|Player||Position||Base Salary||Qualifying Offer||Arbitration Rights|
Among those eligible for arbitration, the Flames can expect some but not of these players to file for arbitration as it’s a natural part of the process to push players higher up in offseason priority. Matthew Tkachuk has little reason to file for arbitration given that his QO is likely in line with what he would get from the arbitration anyway. His bigger decision comes down to accepting the QO and fast tracking himself to unrestricted free agency (UFA), or to work on a long-term deal with Calgary.
Andrew Mangiapane had a breakout season potting over 35 goals and 20 assists for a 55-point campaign, and that makes him a prime candidate to file for arbitration to maximise his contract. Oliver Kylington should similarly file after his breakout season—albeit to a smaller degree—just to put the team on the clock. Matthew Phillips and Colton Poolman likely won’t file for arbitration considering they wouldn’t be awarded anything higher than their QOs.
Among the QOs tendered, the biggest surprise is the one for Eetu Tuulola, who in the 2022 offseason decided he was going back overseas to play with Ilves in Liiga. This QO allows the Flames to retain his North American rights. He won’t be exercising his arbitration rights however, as he has no reason to given the fact that he’s not set to be a Flames roster player at all.
It parallels the QO that was tendered to former Flames prospect Spencer Foo back in 2019, when the Flames opted to retain his signing rights despite him signing with the Kunlun Red Star in the KHL. Tuulola is a prospect that has yet to reach his ceiling and a bigger role in Liiga might be what it takes for him to get to the next level, hence the Flames hanging onto his signing rights is just hedging their bets in hopes of a larger return on investment.
Players not receiving QOs from the Flames include Johannes Kinnvall (D), who has signed with Brynäs IF in the SHL after a season with the Stockton Heat, and Tyler Parsons (G), who did not play hockey in 2021–22. Kinnvall was a bit of a disappointment where injuries seemingly prevented him from playing his best hockey despite being a promising signee to the Calgary Flames organisation, and Parsons on the other hand has seen his professional hockey career fizzle out after some questionable decisions pertaining to pandemic restrictions.
Unqualified UFAs around the NHL
The QO deadline led to many players turning into UFAs. Some notable names include Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik, left unqualified by the Chicago Blackhawks, Rem Pitlick by the Montreal Canadiens, and Sonny Milano by the Anaheim Ducks.
A total of 37 players were left without qualifying offers, some higher calibre than others, so expect the landscape between the NHL to change over the offseason as these players find new teams.
The next order of business
Now that the QOs have been tended to, the Flames will wait to see who files for arbitration, but they once again turn all of their attention to re-signing Johnny Gaudreau as the biggest fish to fry.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire