Fuel qualify eight players

The Indy Fuel extended qualifying offers to the league-maximum eight players, the ECHL announced Monday.

Teams are allowed to give qualifying offers to up to eight players from their 20-man end-of-season roster. They can retain the ECHL rights to non-veterans for a year. Veterans can become unrestricted free agents prior to the start of the season.

The Fuel issued qualifying offers to:

  • Defensemen: Travis Armstrong, Brandon Martell, Harrison Ruopp, Troy Vance
  • Forwards: Shane Bakker, Josh Shalla, Alex Wideman, Paul Zanette

Of those, Shalla is the lone veteran, who is slated to become a restricted free agent if not signed by Aug. 1, and an unrestricted free agent by Aug. 31. Players have until Aug. 1 to accept the qualifying offer. For non-veterans, the team and player may negotiate again or take no further action. Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Players on qualifying offers can sign in other leagues – in Europe or other North American pro leagues. The Fuel eventually signed three of their seven qualified players in 2015, and one of their eight in 2016. Bakker and Ruopp were acquired in end-of-season trades. The others played for the Fuel this season.

So far, the Fuel have announced the signing of defenseman Chris Williams for the upcoming season.

Players on the season-ending roster who have not been qualified are defensemen Zach Miskovic, Jacob Poe and Drew Schiestel, and forwards Anthony Beauregard, Nick Bligh, Kevin Lynch, Michael Neal, Brady Ramsay, Matt Rupert, Kenny Ryan and Cody Sharib. Of those players, Beauregard has returned to college, Lynch signed with the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, Ramsay has signed with a team in Britain and Sharib missed much of last season with an injury. Miskovic, Schiestel, Lynch, Neal and Ryan are all veterans.

The full league-wide list of qualifying offers is here.