In his latest Rink Rats round up of small newsworthy blurbs, Andy Strickland of Truehockey.com writes:
Ottawa is having discussions on extending veteran Chris Neil who has a year left on his deal.Neil will be enter the 2012/13 season in the final year of the four-year, $8.0 million contract that he signed on July 1st, 2009. Last season, Neil had perhaps one of his most well-rounded seasons in a Senators jersey - tallying 13 goals (second highest mark in career), 15 assists, 28 points (tied for seconnd highest total in career) and 178 PIMS. He also finished tied for fifth in the NHL with 271 hits.
If true, it should be interesting to see what his extension's average annual value is. At 33 years of age, Neil's entrenched as part of the team's leadership core, but it's likely that his best hockey is behind him.
Qualifying Offer Results Are (Mostly) In
For the past few days, NHL organizations have been publicizing their lists of RFAs who did and did not receive qualifying offers from their respective teams. Players who did not receive qualifying offers become unrestricted free agents and as such, they are eligible to sign with other NHL teams at noon on July 1st.
While most of the names that weren't tendered qualifying offers aren't anything to salivate over --- Look! It's the ghost of Angelo Esposito! -- there are a few names that may pique the interest of some hockey executives.
At the top of that list may be former Avalanche and Coyotes forward Peter Mueller. Mueller was Phoenix's eighth overall selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and in 254 career games, he has put up some moderately impressive offensive totals - 55 goals and 143 points. Of course, the problem with Mueller is that for the Avalanche to have retained his rights, they would have had to make him a qualifying offer of $2.5 million. In consideration of the concussion problems that have plagued him for the bulk of the past two seasons, the inherent risk of Mueller being an unhealthy sunk asset was enough to deter Colorado from retaining his rights.
Other names of note could include: Benoit Pouliot; Eric Fehr; Kevin Porter; the New York Rangers' first round playoff villain Anton Stralman; former Minnesota Wild forwards Guillaume Latendresse and the All-Star Game's Young Star participant Nick Johnson; Gilbert Brule; and Vancouver defencemen Aaron Rome and Marc-Andre Gragnani.
Here's the full publicized list of those who didn't receive qualifying offers (if a team isn't represented, it's because I couldn't find information on their RFA offers):
Anaheim: Riley Holzopfel; Rick Schofield; Dale Mitchell; and Iiro Turkla.
Calgary: Ryley Grantham; Logan MacMillan; and Blake Comeau.
Carolina: Cedric Lalonde-McNicoll; Matt Pistilli; and Kyle Lawson.
Colorado: Peter Mueller; and Kevin Porter.
Columbus: Brent Regner; Taylor Ellington; and Shawn Hunwick.
Dallas: Angelo Esposito; Mikhail Stefanovich; Michael Neal; and Jake Hauswirth.
Detroit: Travis Ehrhardt; and Logan Pyett.
Edmonton: Cam Barker.
Florida: Wojtek Wolski; Ondrej Roman; Keith Seabrook; and Justin Bernhardt.
Los Angeles: Ray Kaunisto.
Minnesota: Kris Fredheim; Nick Johnson; Guillaume Latendresse.
Montreal: Robert Slaney; Andrew Conboy; Danny Masse; Michael Blunden; Mark Mitera; Hunter Bishop; Olivier Fortier; Ryan White; and Petteri Nokelainen.
Nashville Zack Stortini; Jack Hillen; and Brodie Dupont.
New Jersey: Timo Pielmeier; and Kory Nagy.
New York Islanders: Tyler McNeely; Tony Romano; Yannick Riendeau; and Yuri Alexandrov.
New York Rangers: Andreas Thuresson; Lee Baldwin; Francois Bouchard; Sam Klassen; Chris Chappell; Anton Stralman; Cam Talbot; and Chad Johnson.
Ottawa: Craig Schira.
Philadelphia: qualified all their RFAs.
Phoenix: Gilbert Brule.
Pittsburgh: Cal O'Reilly; Mattias Modig; Casey Pierro-Zabotel; Alexandre Picard; and Boris Valabik.
Tampa Bay: Benoit Pouliot; and Sebastien Piche.
Vancouver: Aaron Rome; Marc-Andre Gragnani; Victor Oreskovich; Mike Duco; Ryan Parent.
Winnipeg: Eric Fehr.