The deadline to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents arrives on Monday, but the Ottawa Senators have already made their plans clear. The young team has no shortage of restricted free agents, but that list is about to be trimmed substantially. As relayed by the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch, Senators GM Pierre Dorion has confirmed that forwards Michael Amadio, J.C. Beaudin, Jonathan Davidsson, and Jack Kopacka, defenseman Brandon Fortunato, and goaltender Marcus Hogberg will not receive qualifying offers. That group of six is nearly half of Ottawa’s current 14 restricted free agents.
The most notable name on the list is Hogberg, who served as the Senators’ primary backup goalie the past two seasons. However, he is also the least surprising inclusion on the list. The team informed the 26-year-old back in May that they would not qualify him and have stuck to that promise. Hogberg has struggled in the NHL and is expected to return to Sweden.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is Amadio, who would only require the minimum $750K salary to qualify. Acquired this season from the Los Angeles Kings for defenseman Christian Wolanin, Amadio has 173 NHL games on his resume including a 2018-19 campaign in which he scored at a full season pace of 12 goals and 25 points. One would think that this could be a useful player for the Senators to hold on to, at least for a full year, but instead they will move on quickly from the 25-year-old winger.
Kopacka was also new to Ottawa this season, acquired from the San Jose Sharks as part of the package for defenseman Christian Jaros, but has never played in the NHL and did little in the AHL to show he was worthy of a new contract. Beaudin, who saw 22 games with the Senators this season, seemingly did not do enough in his audition to stick with the club. Fortunato, the most expensive player to qualify despite having no NHL experience and unspectacular AHL numbers, and Davidsson, who is signed to a multi-year deal overseas, are not surprising inclusions on this list of soon-to-be former Senators.
If anything, this exodus of RFA’s from Ottawa implies that the Senators see better uses for their maximum 50 contract slots. With a deep pipeline of prospects, the team could be looking to bring younger, more exciting options into the fold this season in place of these aging, uninspiring players.