The Seattle Kraken announced they have extended qualifying offers to six out of their ten restricted free agents on Monday. Karson Kuhlman (signed), Morgan Geekie, Kole Lind, Alexander True, Carsen Twarynski, and Cale Fleury all received their qualifying offers, while Ryan Donato, Haydn Fleury, Daniel Sprong, and Dennis Cholowski did not.
A qualifying offer is simply a starting point, and depending on the player’s previous contract, there are different requirements for what must be offered. Teams had to extend qualifying offers to any restricted free agent by Monday’s 2 p.m. Pacific deadline to retain their negotiation rights. Since Donato, Fleury, Sprong, and Cholowski did not receive qualifying offers, they will become unrestricted free agents when NHL free agency opens on Wednesday.
RFA forwards receiving qualifying offers
Karson Kuhlman seemed to hit his stride and fit in very well with the Seattle Kraken after getting claimed off waivers in January from Boston. Kuhlman will not impress you with his statistics, but the speedy winger plays a strong two-way game and became a regular on the penalty kill. He signed his deal, so he is back for at least one more year at $825K.
Morgan Geekie might not have had the season he wanted but still had seven goals in 73 games and at times showed the potential that a lot of folks expect out of this 23-year-old forward. Geekie was on a one-year $750,000 contract and is now expected to get a pay increase with a multi-year deal.
Kole Lind is an interesting one. Prior to this season, Lind had not played a full season since 2019-20 when he was with the Utica Comets. He spent much of the 2021-22 season with the Kraken’s temporary AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers. He put up 17 goals in 46 games before getting called up to Seattle in late March. The 23-year-old has potential, and the 2022-23 season should be a big indicator of his future at the NHL level.
Former Seattle Thunderbird Alex True, has had success at the AHL level, but that has not yet translated to the NHL. True had 42 points over 60 games while playing for the Charlotte Checkers this year but did not register a point in the eight games he played with the Kraken during the 2021-22 campaign.
Carsen Twarynski played the entire season with the Charlotte Checkers and amassed 18 points in 71 games.
Ryan Donato signed a one-year $750,000 deal right before training camp last fall. He had a strong 2021-22 season with the Kraken, netting 16 goals over 74 games played. Donato was arbitration eligible and was due for a significant pay bump this offseason, but with Seattle expecting to be active in free agency, our thought is the team no longer foresees a need for him up front.
Daniel Sprong came to Seattle by way of a trade-deadline deal involving Marcus Johansson going to Washington. Sprong scored six goals over 16 games with Seattle, which was tied for the most goals on the team since it acquired him on March 21. We weren’t terribly surprised he didn’t receive a QO.
RFA defensemen receiving qualifying offers
Cale Fleury was the top scoring defenseman on the Checkers this year. He had 33 points in 58 games including seven goals. The younger Fleury was a late-season callup to Seattle, and although he did not register a point, he looked like he was plenty capable of being a regular NHL player.
Haydn Fleury was a rostered Seattle Kraken player all season but only got in 36 games of the 82. Part of the reason for the low participation was injuries, but more commonly, he was a healthy scratch, crowded out of the Kraken’s overstaffed blue line.
Dennis Cholowski was an original Seattle Kraken Expansion Draft selection. The Washington Capitals claimed Cholowski off waivers when the Kraken were trying to assign him to Charlotte at the beginning of the season. He would only get in seven games in Washington, before going back on waivers, getting re-claimed by Seattle, and finally being assigned to Charlotte. He did get recalled for four games with the Kraken down the stretch.
For the players that were not qualified, they will enter free agency as unrestricted free agents. NHL free agency opens Wednesday at 9 a.m. Pacific time.