The Indy Fuel have extended qualifying offers to eight players from the 2015-16 end-of-season roster, the team and ECHL announced Friday.
For seven of the eight players, the qualifying offer means the Fuel will retain the player’s ECHL rights for one year. The player has until Aug. 1 to accept the offer, or the team may re-sign the player at any salary after that date. For the eighth player – veteran Nick Petrecki – the Fuel will retain his rights until Aug. 1, at which point he becomes a restricted free agent. He would become an unrestricted free agent Sept. 1.
The Fuel extended qualifying offers to:
- Nick Petrecki: Veteran defenseman who joined the team at midseason in a trade from Elmira and had 11 points in 31 games. He was the team’s captain at the end of the season. Because he is a veteran by ECHL rules (more than 260 pro games), he can become a free agent in August.
- Rhett Bly: 2nd-year pro who became an alternate captain midway through the year. The right wing has played both of his pro seasons with the Fuel and tallied 15 goals and 15 assists this past season. He was named the team’s MVP.
- Michael Colantone: Center who joined the team midway through the year after turning pro midway through the college season. He had 17 points in 40 games.
- Darian Dziurzynski: Forward who was acquired from Missouri in a future considerations deal in exchange for Reed Seckel. He had 24 goals and 16 assists for three ECHL teams last season.
- Anders Franzon: Defender who had played two seasons with the Fuel and three pro seasons overall. Franzon has signed a contract with the Sheffield Steelers in England, but the qualifying offer allows the Fuel to retain his rights.
- Alex Lavoie: Center who had 16 goals and 38 assists, leading the Fuel in scoring this past season. He has played two pro seasons with Florida and now with the Fuel.
- Ben Marshall: All-ECHL rookie team defenseman who had 12 goals and 24 assists in 2015-16.
- Mikhail Stefanovich: Acquired by the Fuel from Rapid City as the future considerations in the Garett Bembridge trade, Stefanovich had 19 goals and 30 points in 52 games for Rapid City last season. He is a right-shot forward.
Players already under contract for 2016-17 do not need to be extended qualifying offers, and therefore do not count toward the limit of eight players who can receive such offers. Goaltender Keegan Asmundson and forward Justin Hussar have both signed contracts from the Fuel’s end-of-season roster. Indy has also signed Slovakian forward Martin Bellus.
The players from the end-of-season roster who have either not signed nor extended qualifying offers are goaltender Terry Shafer, defensemen Trevor Campbell, Kevin Clare, Patrick Koudys and Zach Miskovic; and forwards Tyler Currier, Robbie De Fulviis, Colin Murray, Peter Schneider, Cody Sharib and Matt White. Assuming they have not agreed to terms with the team unannounced, those players are now ECHL free agents. The Fuel re-signed several non-tendered players last season. Koudys has signed a deal to play 2016-17 in Europe. The remainder have not announced their plans for next season.