Royals Extend Qualifying Offers to Mackin, Four Others
The Reading Royals, proud affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, announced they have extended qualifying offers to five players.
Forwards (1): Corey Mackin
Defensemen (4): Garret Cockerill, Aaron Titcomb, Rob Michel, Matt Schmalz
While qualifying offers do not mean that players will re-sign with the Royals, it gives Reading until Aug. 9 to sign a player to their offer. Afterwards, if an agreement on the qualifying offer is not reached, the Royals can re-sign the player to any salary desired or take no further action. Reading will hold the rights of any non-veteran players given a qualifying offer for the following season.
Veteran players have slightly different rulesets. They are skaters who have played at least 260 regular season professional games or goalies who have played more than 180 games. The ECHL counts "professional games" as playing for the ECHL or other former "AA" leagues and above in North America and the top divisions of hockey in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland.
If the qualifying offer has not been accepted by the player by Aug. 9, they become a restricted free agent. Other teams can send offers to the player that, if accepted by the player, can be matched by the Royals to keep them in Reading. If the veteran player is still not signed to a contract by Aug. 16, they become an unrestricted free agent and can sign for any ECHL team.
All five players the Royals extended qualifying offers to this season are non-veterans.
These rules only apply to a player's ECHL rights. For example, Corey Mackin signed a contract with HockeyAllsvenskan's HC Vita Hästen, a Swedish Second Division team. His ECHL rights are with the Royals, but he is free to sign for another team in a different league.
Below is the ECHL's official language regarding this concept.
Players who had already signed a contract by July 23 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 2021-22 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.
The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until August 9 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 August. After August 9, 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 August 16, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.
Reading Royals season, flex memberships and group tickets are available for the 2021-22 season by visiting the Royals' box office at Santander Arena or by calling 610-898-7825.
Images from this story
Reading Royals forward Corey Mackin
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ECHL Stories from July 26, 2021
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