The South Carolina Stingrays, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s Washington Capitals and AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced that qualifying offers have been extended to eight players on their 2019-20 season-ending roster.Forwards (5): Mark Cooper, Max Novak, Nick Saracino, Dylan Steman, Branden TroockDefensemen (3): Neal Goff, Tom Parisi, Jaynen RisslingPrior to submitting its season-ending roster, the Stingrays completed a trade with Wheeling that originally sent defenseman Steve Johnson to the Nailers. In return, South Carolina acquired the rights to forward Nick Saracino. The 28-year-old St. Louis, Missouri native spent the last two seasons with Wheeling and produced 25 goals, 35 assists, and 60 points in just 58 games while serving as team captain. Saracino has completed four professional seasons while totaling 46 goals, 69 assists, and 115 points in 197 games split between the American Hockey League (AHL) and the ECHL. His previous stops also included the Iowa Wild, Binghamton Devils and Worcester Railers.
Players who had already signed a contract by June 30 did not need to receive a qualifying offer.
Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four could be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the upcoming 2020-21 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.
The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until July 16 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.
A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until July 16. After July 16, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the player shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.
If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 1, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.