At 5:00pm yesterday, all 30 NHL teams had to tender their players a qualifying offer or they would become Free Agents. This is what happened to the Panthers’ 9 RFAs
Sam Brittan (Goalie)- The Backup Goalie for the Portland Pirates, Sam Brittan signed a 1 year 2 way deal. As per club policy terms of the contract were not discussed. Brittan was the 92nd overall pick by the Panthers in 2010. He had a 8-10-3 record with a 2.79 goals against average and a .906 save percentage in 25 games.
Connor Brickley- Brickley played in 23 games for the Panthers this year after a great preseason. Brickley posted 1 goal and 5 points in 23 games. He was sent down to the AHL due to penalty trouble, came back and struggled and went back down and stayed there. He signed a 1 year 2 way deal as well. In 45 games for Portland he posted 12 goals and 27 points.
TENDERED (NOW RFAs)
Jonathan Racine- Racine is a defender for the Portland Pirates. Racine has 1 game of NHL experience under his belt back in 2013-14 when he was an injury sub. In 69 games for Portland he had 1 goal and 9 points. Management has said he must have a phenomenal training camp in order to make the NHL squad.
Logan Shaw- Shaw played 53 games in the NHL this year with 5 goals and 7 points as he lit up the AHL. Shaw is a pretty good player. Shaw worked very hard and Gallant likes him. I think it will be a year or two until Shaw gets a full year in the NHL.
Vincent Trocheck- After being like Logan Shaw last year (up and down), Trocheck had his first full NHL season and boy did he impress. He had 25 goals and 53 points and lit it up late in the year before going down with an injury. I expect him to make big bucks. Trocheck started as a winger on the third line, then transitioned to center. When Nick Bjugstad went down with migraine problems, Trocheck went on to the second line center role where he did extremely well. For a long time late in the year Trocheck was our best player especially after Barkov struggled for a bit when he came back form a concussion.
UNTENDERED (NOW UFAs)
Quinton Howden- Howden finally got a full season in the NHL. He was the 25th overall pick in 2010. In 58 games he put up 11 points and 6 goals. Late in the year, for some reason Gallant got mad at him and he was scratched often late in the year and missed the 6 postseason games as a healthy scratch. He never really impressed me though although he was a solid fourth liner. He wasn’t the same after taking a high illegal hit which was not called on the ice. I hope Howden gets a shot with another team and does well. I don’t think he lived up to the spot he was drafted at. I thought that Howden did well but wasn’t surprised that he was let go after Gallant was upset at him for some reason. Sadly we won’t get to see the sibling rivalry in a few years between Howden and his brother Brett who was drafted by Tampa Bay this year.
John McFarland- This one didn’t surprise me at all. I read about McFarland and learned he was a second round pick. I learned that he was often injured and used to be a top prospect but never lived up to those expectations. He finally had 3 games this year in the NHL but didn’t stand our especially after everyone made a big deal that the Portland Pirates leading goal scorer was coming to the NHL. He had 14 goals and 24 points in 56 games in Portland. Rowe said he needed a change of scenery and hopefully he gets a fresh start somewhere else.
Greg McKegg- McKegg came up late in the year after Sasha Barkov, Quinton Howden and Brandon Pirri all went down with injuries. This one was the most surprising to me. McKegg had 10 goals and 23 points in 47 games for Portland and in 15 games for us he had 2 goals and no assists. He was also a sub for D-Mac. He had 1 playoff game. I never really thought he impressed but I was surprised to see him go because I thought management liked him. McKegg was acquired in a trade last year in which we traded Zach Hyman to Toronto. I think the Leafs won that trade because I’ve heard that Hyman was doing well up north. I think McKegg will one day be a solid fourth line center when the day comes that all four lines are speedy and skilled instead of the top 3 lines being speedy and skilled and the fourth line an energy and rough line.
Dylan Olsen- Olsen was acquired in the Brandon Pirri trade. He started out here as a regular NHL d-man but since halfway through the 2014-15 season has been an AHL Defender. Alex Petrovic beat him out for an NHL spot this year. Olsen played 8 games in the bigs this year. We couldn’t bring him up often due to waivers and management didn’t want him to be claimed by another team. From what I have heard Olsen has a bad mental game and will get really down on himself for the rest of the day if he makes a mistake. Hopefully in the offseason he will develop a better mental game and become a regular NHL defender for another team.
I think all the guys we signed/tendered will do really well in the future for this club and Springfield. The guys who weren’t tendered I think just need a change of scenery and get off to a fresh start. I know Trocheck will be signed. I want to wish all the guys who weren’t tendered the best of luck and I will be rooting for you and I hope you all do well with a fresh start. To the guys who got tendered I want to say this “You made the cut now let’s get the cup”.