Unsurprisingly, the Flyers on Tuesday extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Nolan Patrick, Philippe Myers and Mikhail Vorobyev.
The club did not issue an offer to Nathan Noel, making him an unrestricted free agent. Noel, a 23-year-old who played mostly in the ECHL last season, was traded to the Flyers for T.J. Brennan during February.
If a team does not extend a qualifying offer to a restricted free agent and the player is not eligible for/offered salary arbitration, he becomes unrestricted. Patrick, Myers and Vorobyev are not arbitration eligible.
The Flyers had until Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET to submit qualifying offers. The offers expire Oct. 18 at 5 p.m. ET and can't be accepted until Friday at noon ET, the start of NHL free agency.
Essentially, qualifying offers officially kick off the negotiation process. Myers and Patrick should have new deals soon.
The 22-year-old Patrick missed the 2019-20 season because of a migraine disorder. It will be interesting to see which route both sides go for Patrick's next deal considering the various levels of the circumstances regarding his type of injury and future.
"I generally don’t comment on contract negotiations until they're finished," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said last week. "Our focus with Nolan for the most part is making sure we’re all doing our best to get him healthy. He continues to feel better and better. I continue to be optimistic that he'll be a player for us next season. We’ll get to all the other issues at the right time."
During June, Vorobyev, a 2015 fourth-round draft pick of the Flyers, signed a three-year contract to play in the KHL. The Flyers retained his NHL rights by extending the qualifying offer.
The club has three players set to hit unrestricted free agency, which opens Friday at noon ET: Tyler Pitlick, Derek Grant and Nate Thompson. In a tight offseason with a flat cap, the Flyers now have more wiggle room spending-wise as Matt Niskanen's $5.75 million cap hit came off the books Monday with the announcement of his retirement. The Flyers have already re-signed Justin Braun and Brian Elliott.