As the NHL’s qualifying-offer deadline for restricted free agents approached today, Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman made some roster-altering decisions today.
#RedWings have made qualifying offers to RFAs Joe Hicketts, Patrik Rybar and Dominic Turgeon, retaining their rights. They did not qualify Martin Frk, Dylan Sadowy, Libor Sulak and Axel Holmstrom, the latter two who have returned to play in Europe. Deadline is today.
— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) June 25, 2019
By making a qualifying offer to these restricted free agents, Detroit will now retain their rights.
Patrik Rybar, a goaltender who played solely for the Grand Rapids Griffins last season, finished the campaign with a 2.49 goals against average, and a 16-21-4 record in 39 games. It seems quite likely that he will begin next season in Grand Rapids, again likely playing a backup role.
Both Dominic Turgeon and Joe Hicketts made appearances in Detroit last season. though neither has made much of an impact in the NHL to this point. Turgeon played in played in four games with Detroit last year, with zero points and a -3 rating. Hicketts appeared in 11 games for Detroit, scoring zero points and a -9 rating. While both are likely to make a push for a roster spot with the Red Wings next season, it seems likely that they’ll both at least start the year with Grand Rapids.
On the other hand, there were players who saw their tenure with the Red Wings organization come to an end today as well, perhaps most notably Martin Frk. Although his wicked slap shot is regarded around the league as one of the hardest, Frk was never able to consistently put it on goal. In 30 games last season, he was only able to find the back of the net one time. He did find some success after being assigned to Grand Rapids towards the end of the season, scoring five goals in 13 games, but the organization has decided to cut ties with him.
Dylan Sadowy, who Detroit traded for in 2016, never really found his footing in the AHL. After multiple 20+ goal season in the OHL (including a 42 goal campaign in 2014-15), Sadowy appeared in a total of 65 games with Grand Rapids over three seasons, scoring a total of five goals and three assists.
Libor Sulak and Axel Holmstrom, who have both returned overseas, are the first two to be forced out of the organization’s pipeline due to a logjam. Sulak, a defenseman, played in six games for Detroit this season. He was regarded as a second-pairing defenseman in some circles. Holmstrom, on the other hand, scored 12 goals and 13 assists in Grand Rapids this season.