Today was a big day for many of the prospects, suspects and almost-maybe-kind of-established NHL players with the Edmonton Oilers because today was the day that the Oilers issued qualifying offers (on time!). So often this day isn't newsworthy, but that's not the case this year. The following ten players received qualifying offers: Gilbert Brule, Andrew Cogliano, Jeff Deslauriers, Devan Dubnyk, Colin Fraser, Sam Gagner, Jean-Francois Jacques, Ryan O'Marra, Theo Peckham, and Liam Reddox. Players who did not (yet?) receiving a qualifying offer are: Josef Hrabal, Bryan Lerg, Geoff Paukovich, Ryan Potulny, Marc Pouliot, and Vyacheslav Trukhno. Those guys will become unrestricted free agents on July 1st. After the jump, I'll have a short discussion on each of the guys in italics as I found those three decisions pretty surprising (I wish Jacques' name was in italics, but that one really shouldn't come as a surprise).Ryan O'Marra - His performance in 2009-10 was definitely a step forward from his previous seasons, but there are a lot of steps to go before O'Marra will be a competent
Ryan Potulny - Ryan Potulny had more goals than every Oiler not named Dustin Penner, Gilbert Brule and Sam Gagner. His qualifying offer would have cost $654,500 and needed to be a one-way deal because he played in more than 60 games in 2009-10. The Oilers, apparently, didn't want to give Potulny a one-way deal I wonder if the Oilers were aware of this 60-game rule with ten games to go in the season. Potulny only played 64 games, so sitting him out for five of the last ten would have made it easier to retain his rights. I suppose it would have been pretty cold to sit Potulny for five games because they wanted to have the option of a two-way qualifying offer but it's probably what they should have done as now Potulny will likely be lost for nothing.
Marc Pouliot - I can't believe they didn't qualify Pouliot, but did qualify Jacques. Further, it's shocking to me that this player has no value. The qualifying offer could have been a two-way deal, so the lack of an offer means that the Oilers simply didn't want him in the organization. I would have thought a two-way deal would have been great for the Oilers. If he competes and wins a spot at camp, great, but if not, he gets waived and helps the Barons. Should he get claimed on the way down, at least the Oilers get a few thousand dollars for their trouble. An odd, odd decision here.
Ryan Stone - You may have noticed that Ryan Stone's name isn't on either list. That's because he's an unrestricted free agent as of July 1st. It will be interesting to see if he signs with the Oilers before that date.