The Kansas City Mavericks issued qualifying offers to seven players Monday, including one who played last season in Europe and another who just announced that he will play in France this upcoming season.
The players are, defensemen Alex Brooks and Troy Donnay and forwards Mark Cooper, Brogan O’Brien, Matt Robertson, Dan Correale and Shawn Pauly.
Correale left the Mavericks last season to play in Europe and Pauly just informed the Mavericks that he will play in France this season. Pauly was the team’s fourth-best scorer last year, with 24 goals and 17 assists for 41 points in 68 games. Correale had six goals and 15 points in 31 games before leaving for Europe.
“We don’t have a problem when guys look at other options,” Mavericks coach John-Scott Dickson said Monday afternoon, “but we still make qualifying offers to them, in case it doesn’t work out in Europe or France so we still have them under contract.”
Every ECHL team can reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of those eight, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional games played as of the start of the upcoming season).
Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.
“We offered the qualifying contracts to the guys we felt could make us a better team this upcoming season,” Dickson added. “Correale and Pauly were impact players for us. And we wish them the best. Every player should have the opportunity to do what they believe is best for their career.”
Cooper and Robertson were the Mavericks’ two leading scorers last season. Cooper had 47 points (23 goals, 24 assists), while Robertson had 45, including a team-best 26 goals.
Brooks had 20 points (4 goals) in 67 games and Donnay had 12 points (3 goals) in 49 games for the Mavericks last season. O’Brien played his first four pro games with the Mavericks last year, collecting one goal and one assist after spending most of the season with the Prince George Cougars of the Western Hockey League.
A qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until July 16, then it becomes void and the team can sign the qualified player to any salary or may take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player retain the rights to that qualified player for one season.
A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player will retain the rights to that veteran until July 16. After July 16, if the veteran player is not signed to a contract by that team, he becomes a restricted free agent and can deal with other teams.
“Brent (Thiessen, president and general manager), Hoodie (assistant coach Kyle Hood) and I have been looking at free agents and starting to put the pieces together for next year’s team,” Dickson said. “There are a lot of free agents out there and we are looking at a few.”
If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 1, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent.
• Forward Mike McMurtry, who split last season with the Mavericks and the Stockton Heat, Kansas City’s American Hockey League affiliate, has re-signed with the Heat. McMurtry, who was named to play in the ECHL All-Star Game, totaled 15 goals and 18 assists for 33 points in 31 games with the Mavericks last season. He had six goals and 18 points in 33 games for the Heat.
Former Mavericks veteran defenseman Zach Tolkinen signed Monday with the ECHL’s Maine Mariners.