In the past few seasons the qualifying offer deadline has become an increasingly important day heading into free agency. The tougher guidelines around arbitration has forced some tough decisions on cash strapped or cap tight teams, and produced some of the most intriguing names in free agency. Today might be the best haul of unqualified free agents we’ve seen, and for a team like the Leafs that is wanting to remake their forward group, this is a potential windfall as some of these players address significant needs.
You can find the full list of RFAs who didn’t receive a qualifying offer at PuckPedia.
Let’s start with the name we’ve all heard way to much about over the past few years.
Nick Ritchie -W
You can’t teach size, and that’s been the drawing factor for many Leafs fans and for some time. He’s a beefy boy, with some hands, as he picked up 15 goals last season. That’s undoubtedly what the Bruins were worried about driving his arbitration case and why they had to cut him loose at the 11th hour heading into free agency.
Ritchie won’t come as cheap as his $1.5M …
Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation