With Monday being the last day to submit qualifying offers, the LA Kings have offered a contract to Lias Andersson and several others.
This week is shaping up to be a busy one around the NHL. The LA Kings and the rest of the league must submit qualifying offers to restricted free agents by Monday.
First, a few refreshers from our friends at CapFriendly.
Teams must extend a qualifying offer to a restricted free agent to retain negotiation rights.
- A qualifying offer is an official Standard Player Contract (SPC) offer which shall be 1 year in length, and which can be subject to salary arbitration should the player be eligible.
- Clubs have until the later of June 25th or the first Monday after the Entry Draft to submit Qualifying Offers.
- Qualifying Offers apply to Group 2 and Group 4 free agents.
- Submitting a Qualifying Offers gives the prior club the right of first refusal to match any offer sheet submitted, or receive draft pick compensation.
- If the player rejects the qualifying offer, they remain an RFA and their rights are retained by the team.
- If a player does not receive a qualifying offer, the player becomes a UFA.
The Kings had a number of players to consider extending a qualifying offer, including Lias Andersson, Andreas Athanasiou, Braden Burke, Kale Clague, Mikey Eyssimont, Matt Luff, Jacob Moverare, Drake Rymsha, Tyler Steenbergen, Austin Strand.
Players who received Qualifying Offers
The 22-year-old was acquired for a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft from the New York Rangers. He played in 23 games at the NHL level, tallying three goals and three assists. Andersson also found some confidence with the Ontario Reign of the AHL, tallying six goals and 11 assists in 16 games. Of note, if the Kings wish to option Andersson to Ontario this season, he must clear waivers first.
Brought into the organization just days before training camp, Andreas Athanasiou had a noticeable impact on the team’s second line. He scored a goal in each of the team’s first three games before missing a couple of weeks in February due to a positive COVID-19 test. In 47 games with the LA Kings this past season, the 26-year-old speedster tallied 10 goals and 13 assists while averaging 14:57 TOI.
Acquired over the weekend from Arizona, Brayden Burke looks to become a major contributor for the Reign next season. The 24-year-old went undrafted, spending the last three seasons with the Tuscon Roadrunners of the AHL. There, the Edmonton, Alberta, native racked up 35 goals and 64 assists in 146 games. Burke was limited to 28 games in the shortened 2021 schedule, tallying a goal with 13 assists.
The player most figured would be selected by Seattle in the expansion draft; Kale Clague should get every opportunity to carve out a full-time role for himself in the 2021-22 season. As we recently noted, Clague is also no longer waiver exempt. So like Lias Andersson, if sent down to Ontario, he must clear waivers first.
Moverare took a little longer to develop, but he enjoyed a successful first year in the AHL. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL Draft, the Ostersund, Sweden, native had just one goal but accumulated 14 assists in 26 games. He was also Reign head coach John Wroblewski’s most impressive player last season.
“Just, you weren’t sure how a first-year North American pro would fare coming in; then, a little bit of an injury to start off a season, so then you really don’t know what you have,” Wroblewski noted in his exit interview. “And then, you’re sort of underwhelmed initially because he’s not the most fluid skater but then, all of a sudden, you notice he does a good beat and then he’s facilitating all kinds of offense and making such heady plays with the puck on a consistent basis.”
Strand became one of the most reliable defensemen when the Kings needed him most. With Matt Roy and Sean Walker lost to injuries in the same game against Minnesota, Strand enjoyed time at the NHL level. He didn’t light up the scoresheet. In fact, he had just one assist in 13 games, but the 24-year-old undrafted free agent made good decisions with the puck and proved to have good vision in the attacking zone. In 19 games with the Reign last year, Strand tallied a goal and five points.
Qualifying offers to Clague, Strand, Athanasiou, Moverare, Burke and Andersson, per hockey ops in LA.
— lisa dillman (@reallisa) July 26, 2021
Players headed for Unrestricted Free Agency
Tough to lose a guy with as much grit and heart as Mikey Eyssimont, but that’s the nature of the business. With the organization since being taken in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Draft, the 24-year-old was running out of time, with a plethora of prospects coming in waves. He accumulated nine goals and eight assists in 40 games last season. In 3+ seasons with Ontario, Eyssimont racked up 31 goals and 34 assists in 162 games.
Another guy who just couldn’t find regular playing time. Signed as an undrafted free agent, the 24-year-old Oakville, Ontario, native split time between the Kings and Reign over the last three seasons. At the NHL level, Luff scored just one goal in 13 games last season. With Ontario, he had just three goals and an assist in four games. The writing on the wall became very apparent that Luff was on his way out, and he’ll get the opportunity to carve out a full-time role elsewhere.
Ryhmsha played in the 2021 regular-season finale against the Avalanche. He spent the majority of the year on the Kings taxi squad roster, playing just one game in Ontario as well.
Recently acquired in the Boko Imama and Cole Hults deal over the weekend, the Kings don’t seem too keen on keeping Steenbergen around. The former fifth-round pick in 2017 had the golden goal in the 2018 World Juniors for Team Canada. With the Tucson Roadrunners over the last three seasons, Steenbergen amassed 27 goals and 34 assists in 156 games (0.39 points per game).