The Carolina Hurricanes issued qualifying offers to three players on Monday afternoon before the 5:00 deadline. Forwards Brock McGinn and Phil Di Giuseppe and defenseman Jake Chelios will remain restricted free agents when the free agent market opens around the NHL on Saturday, July 1.
Three other players were not qualified and will become unrestricted free agents. Forward Andrej Nestrasil is the most noteworthy of the three players who were not qualified, along with goaltender Daniel Altshuller and forward Erik Karlsson, who had previously announced that he would be returning to Sweden for next season.
McGinn played 57 games with the Hurricanes last season, his second partial NHL campaign. He scored seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in those 57 games. Di Giuseppe also played in his second NHL season, tallying one goal and six assists for seven points in 36 games. Both players were second-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.
Chelios was an undrafted free agent and signed with the Charlotte Checkers in 2015. He parlayed that season into a one-year NHL deal last offseason, although he did not make an appearance with the Hurricanes in 2016-17. Chelios scored four goals and added 28 assists for 32 points in the Checkers’ 2016-17 season, and added one assist during the Checkers’ five-game first-round playoff loss to the Chicago Wolves.
The big name who was not qualified was Nestrasil, who had fallen out of favor with the organization after suffering a broken vertebrae at the end of the 2015-16 season. Nestrasil has backed off of his pointed comments made to a Czech reporter in March about the Hurricanes organization, but at the highest salary of any of the Canes’ potential RFAs the team decided to part ways with the Czech winger.
Altshuller’s only NHL appearance came as an unused backup on January 3 against the Devils. He spent the rest of the season between the ECHL Florida Everblades and the Checkers, posting a 2.88 goals against average and a .907 save percentage in the AHL. He was a third-round pick in the 2012 draft that also produced Di Giuseppe and McGinn. Karlsson’s non-tendering was a formality, as the Swedish winger had already announced that he had signed a deal with Timra of the Swedish Hockey League for next season.