Monday was the deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers to pending restricted free agents, and there were a number of notable ones to not receive such an offer from their teams, making them eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1. Among some of the bigger names to not receive offers were Washington Capitals forward Brett Connolly, St. Louis Blues forward Nail Yakupov, New Jersey Devils forward Beau Bennett, Colorado Avalanche forward Mikhail Grigorenko, and Calgary Flames forward Alex Chiasson. Connolly scored 15 goals in only 66 games for the Capitals this season, and it sounds like even though he did not receive a qualifying offer on Monday the team would still like to re-sign him.
Obviously no contracts can be signed until July 1, and technically there is to be no discussion of contract terms, but the window is open for discussions to begin. T.J. Oshie re-signing with the Washington Capitals on Friday already removed one of the big-ticket players from the market. Shattenkirk is probably the top free agent available on the market and headlines a weak group of defensemen.
The Rangers currently have $20 million in cap space, a number that could reach close to $23 million if Kevin Klein retires. After moving Derek Stepan and his cap hit of $6.5 million on Friday, GM Jeff Gorton said that the Rangers "have money now" and that his phone has started to ring more often because of it. He added that the cap implications of moving Stepan were a "big part" of the trade. On Saturday, Gorton said that their cap space provides "flexibility" and gives them an opportunity to make the team better and maybe have conversations and listen to things they couldn't have done when they were in more of a cap crunch. Including Klein, the Rangers have 17 players under contract for next