To qualify or not to qualify... that is the question.
The Minnesota Wild took a rather mundane an automatic step today, qualifying most of the restricted free agents in the organization. For some of the RFAs on the sheet, however, today's deadline for qualifying offers was not such a great day. As we have discussed in past days, Guillaume Latendresse and Nick Johnson were not qualified, setting them up to be unrestricted free agents on Sunday.
There were, however, a couple of moves today, in both the players qualified and those not qualified, that may need a little better look. With the number of prospects coming in, being careful to manage around the 50 contract limit is something Chuck Fletcher now actually needs to worry about. (You can get a feel for where the Wild are at on out contract page.)
Ah, the business side of the NHL.
Cody Almond - Interesting move here, as Almond has signed to play in Switzerland. The Wild do this simply to retain the rights to a kid that may have proven useful in a depth role, or perhaps in a trade situation. Almond will likely reject the QO, but the Wild will still retain his rights.
Dennis Endras - This one surprises me a little bit. With the depth at goalie, and the fact that Endras has signed a long term deal to play in Europe, he is likely gone from the organization. Here, again, the Wild do this likely just to retain his rights.
Justin Falk - This was a no brainer. Falk had to be qualified, and will likely sign for near the QO, maybe a little more.
Chay Genoway - We have heard that Genoway already signed, but if he was qualified today, that obviously is not official yet.
David McIntyre - Good depth player, could still have some development left in him. We'll see, but he is most likely being qualified to go to Houston.
Carson McMillan - Another depth player, still developing. No reason to let him walk.
Jarod Palmer - Absolute no brainer here. The kid showed some goods when he was called up, so bringing him back is a real "duh" moment.
Nick Palmieri - Another case of development waiting to happen. He crashes the net, but just can't seem to find the back of it. Maybe some time will help with that?
Guillaume Latendresse - We'll see where this leads, but I have this feeling he wants to go to July 1 and see if there is a GM dumb enough to offer him some guaranteed money. I hope he gets it, but I bet it won't be here.
Nick Johnson - A victim of the arbitration rules and the 50 contract max. Not a big loss if he does end up somewhere else, but would certainly welcome him back if that were the case.
Kris Fredheim - Tough to justify the NHL contract here. He was an emergency call up that was signed just for that purpose. My bet is he will sign another AHL only deal with the Aeros and return to the organization.
Any reason to question these moves, Wilderness?