The deadline to extend qualifying offers to impending restricted free agents arrives on Tuesday, and another intriguing name can be added to the list of those likely not receiving an offer and hitting the open market. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports that Rangers defenseman Fredrik Claesson will not receive a qualifying offer from the team. Brooks cites roster space as the reason that New York has opted not to retain the 26-year-old, who played in 37 games in his first – and now only – season with the Rangers. The team only would have merely had to offer Claesson a two-way contract worth $735K to hold on to his RFA rights, but apparently are content to let him leave. With four veteran blue liners already signed, recent acquisition Jacob Trouba as well as Anthony DeAngelo as restricted free agents, and top prospects Adam Fox and Libor Hajek pushing for ice time, the Rangers do have plenty of depth without Claesson. Nevertheless, the former Ottawa Senators starter should draw plenty of attention as a new addition to the UFA market. Claesson joins a growing list of talented players not expected to receive qualifying offers, including Vancouver’s Derrick Pouliot, Los Angeles’ Nikita Scherbak, and Edmonton’s Ty Rattie and Tobias Rieder.
- At 35 years old, veteran Max Talbot is calling it a career. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun revealed that Talbot has decided to retire and end his playing days, but will stay involved with the game as a development adviser for CAA, a top hockey agency. Talbot may have spent his twilight years overseas, playing the past three seasons in the KHL, but few will forget his accomplishments in the NHL. Talbot spent eleven season in the league, making a name for himself as a top two-way player. Talbot received votes for the Selke Award as the league’s best defensive forward in four different seasons and was one of the most dangerous shorthanded specialists in the league during the prime of his career. Talbot spent the first six seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, helping the team to a 2009 Stanley Cup title, and made stops in Philadelphia, Colorado, and Boston before heading for Russia in 2016.
- As one pro career ends, another begins. QMJHL leading scorer Peter Abbandonato has signed with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, per TVA’s Mikhail Lalancette. It’s a two-year minor league deal for Abbandonato, who needs time to develop despite his impressive junior numbers. Abbandonato was a late-blooming forward, an undrafted and slightly undersized center who broke out this season in his final year of junior eligibility. The 21-year-old had a phenomenal season, though; he recorded 111 points in 68 games, including 82 assists, which also led the league and by a wide margin. Abbandonato then added 27 points in just 15 playoff games to help the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies to a QMJHL title. Like fellow undrafted top junior scorer Justin Brazeau of the OHL, Abbandonato had no other option but to sign a minor league deal and show that his skill set is pro-ready. If he can do that, Abbandonato should earn an entry-level contract, perhaps even before his AHL contract expires.