WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals issued qualifying offers to a pair of restricted free agents to continue negotiations, but not to all of them.
This leaves some familiar faces from the Hershey Bears as unrestricted free agents going into Friday’s free agency period. At the 5:00 PM ET deadline, the Capitals announced that the team extended qualifying offers to Shane Gersich and former Bear Jonas Siegenthaler, but not to fellow restricted free agents Connor Hobbs, Travis Boyd, or Kris Bindulis.
It’s a surprising move, considering that the Capitals recently re-signed defenseman Lucas Johansen but are letting Hobbs hit the open market. Bindulis, of course, signed overseas earlier this offseason, and Boyd was working his way into a spot with the Capitals after a brief stint in Hershey to start this past season. Boyd was named the CCM/AHL Player of the Week for his outstanding performance in that time, including a memorable overtime game-winning goal to lift the Bears over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Here’s the game winner from Travis Boyd! pic.twitter.com/PayA2xj9BO
— Bears Hockey Nation (@HBHNationBlog) October 13, 2019
Boyd, of course, etched his name into Hershey Bears lore for three great seasons, including an overtime game-winning goal in Game Seven of a second-round series win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in 2016.
Although Hobbs and Boyd are unrestricted free agents, the Capitals could still sign either of the players, perhaps at a better price. Players currently under contract with Washington who skated in Hershey include Bobby Nardella, Martin Fehervary, Alexander Alexeyev, Tobias Geisser, and Lucas Johansen. The Bears have signed Eddie Wittchow, Tyler Nanne, Will Graber, and Macoy Erkamps for the blue line. The Capitals recently announced that defenseman Michal Kempny is expected to miss 6-8 months with surgery, opening a possible spot on the blue line next season.
Free agency begins Friday at Noon ET.
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