Flames Extend Qualifying Offers to Five Restricted Free Agents
The Calgary Flames have extended qualifying offers to five restricted free agents after beefing up their developmental system with seven new recruits from the NHL Draft.
The team announced on its official website (www.flames.nhl.com) that it has made qualifying offers to goaltender Leland Irving and forwards Akim Aliu, Mikael Backlund, Paul Byron and Blair Jones.
With the qualifying offers, the Flames retain the right to match any offer sheet that the five players will sign from other teams.
The Flames did not extend qualifying offers to left wing Blake Comeau and forwards Ryley Grantham and Logan MacMillan, making them unrestricted free agents and essentially ending their stint with the organization.
Irving, the Flames' 26th overall pick in 2006, received a $600,000 qualifying offer. He served as back-up to starting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. In seven appearances with the Flames, he won one and lost three with a save percentage of .912.
Aliu played two games with the Flames, scoring two goals and one assist, after he was traded by the Winnipeg Jets for defenseman John Negrin. He received a qualifying offer of $803,250.
Byron joined the Flames after he was traded by the Buffalo Sabres for Robyn Regehr, Ales Kotalik and a second-round draft pick. In 22 appearances, he scored two goals and three assists. He received a qualifying offer of $577,500.
A 24th overall pick by the Flames in 2007, Backlund received a qualifying offer of $826,875. He played in 41 games for Calgary, scoring four goals and had seven assists in a injury-marred season.
Acquired from Tampa Bay, Jones received a $577,500 qualifying offer from the Flames. Last season, he scored three goals and five assists in 43 games.
The Flames did not make a $2.5 million qualifying offer to Comeau after his scoring dipped last season. After scoring 24 goals during the 2010-11 season, he managed just five goals in 74 games last season.
During the recent NHL draft, the Flames picked Mark Jankowski (first round, 21st overall), Patrick Sieloff (second round, 42nd overall), Jon Gillies (third round, 75th overall), Brett Kulak (fourth round, 105th overall), Ryan Culkin (fifth round, 124th overall), Coda Gordon (sixth round, 165th overall) and Matthew DeBlouw (seventh round, 186th overall).
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