Ducks don’t extend qualifying offers to Sonny Milano, Sam Steel and others
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The Anaheim Ducks announced the list of players they’ve extended qualifying offers to, with two notable omissions from the list being Sonny Milano and Sam Steel.
The four players who received qualifying offers were Isac Lundestrom, Simon Benoit, Urho Vaakanainen and Olle Eriksson Ek.
Milano is 26 years old and was coming off a fairly strong season in which he scored 14 goals and 34 points in 66 games, a pace of 17 goals and 42 points per 82 games. He was coming off a two-year contract at a $1.7 million cap hit.
Steel is 24 years old and had struggled over the last two years with the Ducks. This past season, he scored six goals and 20 points in 68 games, a pace of seven goals and 24 points per 82.
The forwards are now set to become unrestricted free agents.
Other players who didn’t receive qualifying offers were Brendan Guhle, Jacob Larsson, Jack Badini, Lucas Elvenes and Roman Durny. Guhle and Larsson in particular were considered as quality prospects only a matter of years ago and did spend time in the NHL with the Ducks over the last few seasons.
While the decision not to qualify Steel is debatable (though not entirely shocking), it didn’t seem like there was a chance Milano wouldn’t at least get a qualifying offer. He found chemistry with Trevor Zegras and while he certainly cooled off later in the year, it’s shocking the Ducks didn’t bring him back. Given the age of both players and the step Milano took this season, this just seems like a poor choice.
The Ducks have ample cap space and the Milano decision in particular just doesn’t make much sense. Anaheim isn’t in a spot to compete right now anyways and given that Milano wasn’t likely to command more than a short-term deal and the Ducks certainly won’t use all of their cap space anyways, letting him walk seems like the wrong call.
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