The Indy Fuel announced Wednesday that the team has extended qualifying offers to seven players from this past season’s roster.
The team qualified defensemen Nick Bruneteau, Doug Jessey and Saverio Posa, as well as forwards Nicklas Lindberg, Pete Massar, Peter Schneider and Kyle Stroh.
Earlier this week, the Fuel announced the signings of forward Rhett Bly and Casey Thrush for 2015-16.
All qualifying offers are open until Aug. 1. For Lindberg, a veteran, he would become a restricted free agent on that date, and the Fuel will have the right to match until Aug. 31, after which he would become an unrestricted free agent.
For the remainder of the players, if the qualifying offer is not accepted by Aug. 1, the team and player are free to negotiate any salary, but the Fuel will retain the ECHL rights to each player until June 30.
Of the seven players qualified, both Jessey and Posa have plans to play in Europe – Jessey in France, Posa in Italy.
“The goal from day one was to build a core of young players that would develop in our system,” Fuel coach Scott Hillman said in a team release. We continue to work hard to re-sign the players from last year that showed the greatest commitment to the organization, to the community and to building a winning team our fans will be proud of.”
Teams are allowed to extend qualifying offers to up to eight unsigned players. (Full list of ECHL qualifying offers)
From the end-of-season roster, players not yet qualified or re-signed are forwards Garett Bembridge, Johnny McGuire, Evan Vossen and Matt White; as well as defensemen Anders Franzon and Andy Simpson and goaltender Shane Owen, who all become ECHL free agents. Forwards Mike Duco and Chris DeSousa were also on the end-of-season roster, but they have each signed contracts for 2015-16 – Duco with the Sheffield Steelers in Britain, DeSousa with a fellow member of the Blackhawks organization, the AHL Rockford IceHogs.
Five players from the team’s roster at the end of the regular season did so on AHL or NHL contracts – Nick Jones (Worcester Sharks), Kirill Gotovets, Justin Holl and Jamie Wise (Rockford IceHogs) and Mac Carruth (Chicago Blackhawks). Of those, Gotovets has re-signed an AHL contract with the IceHogs. Carruth was slated to become a restricted free agent, but the Blackhawks did not tender him a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.