The Calgary Flames have extended qualifying offers to eight players, the team announced Mondayincluding prized forwards Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane.
Oliver Kylington, Matthew Phillips, Colton Poolman, Martin Pospisil, Adam Ruzicka and Eetu Tuulola were the other players extended.
The decision ensures that none of those players will become unrestricted free agents, giving the Flames a significant edge in negotiating new deals ahead of what could be a transformative off-season in Calgary.
The discourse so far around the Flames has centered on Johnny Gaudreau, the star winger whose impending free agency has the chance to completely reshape the foundations of a Calgary team fresh off a second-round Stanley Cup Playoffs exit.
Tkachuk, now officially a restricted free agent, is considered to be the Flames’ other top off-season priority — though it remains to be seen if he will entertain signing a long-term extension before Gaudreau’s future crystallizes.
As Sportsnet’s Eric Francis noted, the uncertainty over Gaudreau may lead Calgary to a point where it weighs the possibility of trading his rights.
Amid the flurry of Monday announcements, the Flames also said they were not extending offers to defenseman Johannes Kinnvall and goaltender Tyler Parsons, making them unrestricted free agents.