On Monday the Sharks released their list of players who were presented qualifying offer contracts, thus ensuring they will stay Sharks property on July 1.
There were no surprises on the list of players who received the offer as each spent all or part of the season in San Jose. The group includes Ryane Clowe
, Thomas Greiss
, Torrey Mitchell
and Brad Staubitz. San Jose’s next step is to work on contracts for those players and the skaters on the team who will be unrestricted free agents due to their age and games played.
“That is going to be our next call,” said Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson. “We’ve certainly made some progress. We want some situations clarified. That will help with some UFA’s that will be important to us also.”
Two notables on the list of players who didn’t receive a qualifying offer were lineup regulars Marcel Goc and Tomas Plihal who are now unrestricted free agents, along with former first rounders Lukas Kaspar and Mike Morris. Other players who are now free to sign with any team are: Riley Armstrong, Taylor Dakers, T.J. Fox, Tomas Plihal and Ashton Rome.
“Marcel is very professional and a good man,” said Wilson. “His game has leveled off with us and we want a different mix and ingredient to this team. (With Plihal) other players have come on.”
While it could be possible that those not presented qualifying contracts could be contacted later, it is not likely.
“In most cases, it is time to move forward,” said Wilson.
Wilson noted that seeing three former first rounders be let go is part of the nature of drafting 18-year-olds.
“It’s part of the business of an 18-year-old draft,” said Wilson. “It’s unlike the NFL where the average player coming in is 22. It’s unfortunate for Mike Morris because it’s due to injuries and he never really had a chance to play.”
Players who are unrestricted free agents beginning July 1 include: Rob Blake, Brian Boucher, Tom Cavanagh, Mike Grier, Kent Huskins, Claude Lemieux, Kyle McLaren, Travis Moen, Jeremy Roenick, Alexei Semenov, Ryan Vesce. AHL free agents include Brenden Buckley, Cory Larose and Brett Westgarth.
Wilson confirmed that the Sharks are still in the running for unrestricted free agent net minder Jonas Gustavsson, widely regarded as the top professional goaltender not under an NHL contract.
“He is a young man that we are certainly very impressed with,” said Wilson. “He has had to deal with some personal trauma recently with the loss of his mother and we’ll give him as much time as he needs to make his decision.”