The deadline for all teams to extend qualifying offers to their restricted free agents (RFA’s) was 5:00 PM on Monday, with a total of 97 players in the league not receiving offers by the deadline. While the most notable Washington Capital not to receive a qualifying offer was goaltender Ilya Samsonov, there were a few other names that raised an eyebrow or two.
Daniel Sprong – Seattle Kraken
It looks like the well-travelled winger will make it five teams in six years, as the Kraken decided to pass on keeping Sprong in the fold. He flashed his scoring abilities, recording six goals in just 16 games for the Kraken, but was eventually riding the pine by the end of the season. Defense, Daniel! Defense!
Dylan Strome – Chicago Blackhawks
We were surprised by this one. Strome set a career-high in goals (22) and came three points shy of his career-high (48) in 69 games last season. He hit the 12-goal and 38-point mark in just 58 games in 2019-20 and 34-assist and 51-point plateau in 58 games during his first full NHL season the year prior. More on why the Capitals should consider pursuing Strome is here.
Dominik Kubalik – Chicago Blackhawks
Kubalik (also from the Blackhawks) was a Calder Trophy finalist in 2020, a 30-goal scorer that year and has 62 goals over past 3 seasons. He also notched 4-4-8 in nine games during his first postseason run. What in the world is going on in Chicago?
Ondrej Kase – Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs are tight for cash, so somebody was gonna fall. Kase recorded 14 goals and 13 assists in just 50 games played last season with Toronto. The 26-year old also recorded a 20-goal season in just 66 games in the 2017-18 season. The right winger will definitely have his suitors when free agency opens at noon on Wednesday.
Haydn Fleury – Seattle Kraken
The 25-year-old seventh overall pick in 2014 played in just 36 games for the expansion Kraken, his third team in two seasons, after getting dealt from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Anaheim Ducks at the 2021 NHL Trade Deadline. Fleury made just $1.5 million last season and will certainly find a few takers on Wednesday.
Sonny Milano – Anaheim Ducks
Milano recorded 14 goals and 20 assists in just 66 games played last season for the Ducks. The 26-year old made just $1,800,000 last season, which makes his price tag for a potential 20-goal scorer very appealing to some teams.
Rem Pitlick – Montreal Canadiens
Pitlick notched 15 goals and 22 assists in just 66 games played for the Habs this past season. That’s decent scoring for the 25-year old. He made just a little over $917,000 last season, and will surely find a few suitors.
The craziness ramps up at noon on Wednesday, and the Capitals will most definitely be in the mix. Stay tuned.
By Jon Sorensen