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Flyers Extend Qualifying Offers to Gustafsson, Lauridsen, Manning, Wellwood

On Monday, the day before the deadline to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents, the Philadelphia Flyers sent out qualifying offers to four young players that were with the club last year. The Flyers have sent the offers to defenseman Erik Gustafsson (age: 24), defenseman Oliver Lauridsen (age: 24), defenseman Brandon Manning (age: 23) and forward Eric Wellwood (age: 23).

Lauridsen posing with the puck with which he scored his first NHL goal (via philly.com)

Two of the four players played pretty big roles last year as they filled in to aid the injured Flyers’ blue line. Those players are defensemen Erik Gustafsson and Oliver Lauridsen.

Lauridsen’s playing minutes increased as the season continued; he played 17 games with the big club last year. registering 2 goals and 1 assist during the lockout-shortened NHL season. Though he did not put up big offensive numbers, Lauridsen did provide pretty good defense but he still has some work too do especially with turnovers.

Probably the most significant qualifying offer was sent out to  Gustafsson, the 24-year old defenseman with a very bright future and a ton of potential. Gustafsson appeared in 27 of the 48 games for the Flyers last year, tallying 3 goals and 5 assists for 8 total points in the 2012-2013 campaign. With Adirondack, Gustafsson had 5  goals and 17 assists in 39 games. This was a very smart move by the Flyers.

The other two offers, Brandon Manning and Eric Wellwood, were also very smart choices by the club. Eric Wellwood, unfortunately, suffered a very devastating injury last year, cutting his own skate into his right achillies tendon, tearing 75% of it. Wellwood  started rehab a good month ago and should be able to test it out on the ice within a few months. Despite the long wait, I think it’s definitely worth it to re-sign this kid because he also has a very bright future along with Gustafsson.

The last qualifying offer that the Flyers made was to defenseman Brandon Manning. Manning appeared in 6 NHL games last year with the Flyers, bringing aid to the Flyers battered up defense. Manning had 2 assists in the 6 games he played with the club and provided pretty tight defense despite his limited minutes.

The Flyers front office made extremely smart decisions with signing these kids, they all have very bright futures in the NHL and teh Flyers are smart to not let these guys get away. As far as the qualifying offers they made i say they are withing reason, here are the offers (the years were not released):

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson was offered $850,000/year

Defenseman Oliver Lauridsen was offered $643,000/year

Defenseman Brandon Manning was offered $715,000/year

Forward Eric Wellwood was offered $594,000/year

These players have until July 20th to respond to these qualifying offers from the Flyers.

There are two RFAs that did not receive extensions from the Philadelphia Flyers, they are Forward Mitch Wahl and Defenseman Blake Kessel. Mitch Wahl came to the organization when the Flyers sent Mike Testwuide to Calgary in exchange for Wahl late last season. Wahl played 15 games with the Adirondack Phantoms with 1 goal and 3 assists. Blake Kessel, who is the brother of Toronto Maple Leafs Forward Phil Kessel, played with teh Trenton Titans this passed season where he had 8 goals and 33 assists in 54 games. He also made 7 appearances with the Adirondack Phantoms where he had 2 goals and 2 assists.

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Categories: Beat Writing, Flyers

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