The Columbus Blue Jackets have announced which restricted free agents will receive qualifying offers, with few surprises. Josh Anderson, Gabriel Carlsson, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Vladislav Gavrikov, Matiss Kivlenieks, Ryan MacInnis, Kevin Stenlund and Calvin Thurkauf have all received qualifying offers from the team and will remain in the organization.
The only real surprise is Shore, and only because the Blue Jackets acquired him this season in exchange for Sonny Milano. The 26-year-old Shore has not been particularly effective since the 2017-18 campaign, splitting the last two seasons between three teams and recording just 12 points in 2019-20. Add in the fact that he was due a $2.4MM qualifying offer in order to remain with the Blue Jackets and it’s not hard to see why the team decided to cut bait.
Still, Shore could represent a cheap depth signing for a team this offseason if they think he can be of use to a bottom-six. The 26-year-old forward has experience at center and on the wing and has scored double-digit goals in three different seasons.
Bittner and Collins may also bring a twinge of disappointment to Blue Jackets fans, given they were both second-round selections that never seemed to pan out. Bittner especially was hyped coming off a successful junior career but failed to score much in the AHL. Collins, the 47th pick in 2014, never added any offense to his defensive game and could only rely on his size for so long.