Free Agent News, a Few Days Early 7/2

HB12_0049Good morning everyone,

Short post today on some news reported by Capitals beat writer Katie Carrera of the Washington Post.

Five players – one of whom became a fan-favorite defenseman and two who made significant contributions as later-season additions – were tendered qualifying offers by the organization, meaning that Washington retains its negotiating rights to them and has the right to match any offer sheet they might sign with another team.

The defenseman is Tomas Kundratek, who finished as the AHL’s goal-scoring leader (16) among active blueliners (Justin Schultz spent a majority of the season in Edmonton after racking up 18 tallies in 34 games).

The forwards are Nicolas Deschamps (who really got into his groove during the Calder Cup playoffs and only one month since being acquired in exchange for Kevin Marshall), and Peter LeBlanc (who recorded 8-10-18 in 33 games since being acquired on January 31 for Matt Beaudoin).  Oh… and he led the Bears in playoff scoring with (0-8-8) in five games.

By my count, Kundratek is now waiver-exposable and would have to clear in order to be assigned to Hershey the next time.  The others don’t.

Three players – Danick Paquette, Mattias Sjogren and Dustin Stevenson – were not qualified and thus become unrestricted free agents this Friday.

Paquette was an instant favorite in the limited time he played with the Chocolate and White, but an injury-plagued season kept our fans from seeing his full physical, energetic potential.

Sjogren, you’ll recall, left the team in 2011-12 to return to his native Sweden, but re-emerged last season.  He did not play much under Mark French’s watch, and I’m sure has seen his last time in Chocolatetown.

Stevenson won the Kelly Cup with the Reading Royals back in June – and put up excellent numbers, including a team second-best +17 rating in the postseason – but was unable to earn any recalls to the Bears and was thus never able to become established as an AHL defenseman.

Click here for the full article from the Post.  “Free Agent Frenzy” countdown: three days….



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