Step two of the off-season has now been completed. Of the 20 max, the Cincinnati Cyclones have added 16 players to the Season Ending Roster. Of those 16, a maximum of eight will receive Qualifying Offers.

The Season Ending Roster is as follows:
G – Sean Bonar
F – Jack Combs
F – Jack Downing
F – Brandon Gracel
F – Byron Froese
F – Nick Huard
F – Geoff Irwin
F – Ross Ring-Jarvi
F – Garrick Perry
F – Christiaan Minella
D – Jim Jorgensen
D – David MacDonald
D – Michael Quinn
D – Chris Reed
D – Alex Velischek
D – Brett Wysopal

Qualifying offers must be made by July 1st. Of the maximum eight Qualifying Offers, no more than four can be Veterans. To be considered a vet, the player must appear in 260 or more professional games. Of the 16 players on the list, at the start of the 2015-2016 season, Jack Combs, Jack Downing, Byron Froese, and Jim Jorgensen will be vets.  Qualifying Offers have until August 1st to be accepted. After that deadline, the offer becomes nothing, and the team can either sign the player to a contract or chose to take no further action. Aside from the four vets, any other player the Cyclones extend a qualifying offer to, Cincinnati will retain their rights for one playing season. However, in the case of the four vets listed, after August 1st, they will become restricted free agents. If a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from another team, the player and the offering team must notify the ECHL, players association, and the team with the player’s rights within 24 hours. The team with the player’s rights will then be granted one full week to attempt to match the offer.

Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, let’s have some fun with this. In no way, shape, or form is the following list going to be who the Cyclones actually extend qualifying offers to. This list will include who I think should get a qualifying offer.

Here’s who I’d give an offer to: Jack Downing, Brandon Gracel, Nick Huard, Geoff Irwin, Brett Wysopal, and Chris Reed

These players are who I was most impressed with during the 2014-2015 season. The reason I left off names like Byron Froese: He’s making a case for an NHL contract, the day he comes back to Cincinnati is the day I become a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. It took a lot of thought to keep off Christiaan Minella and David MacDonald, but if you noticed, last year’s team was basically still a Ben Simon team. Over half the roster was who Simon brought in. I have a feeling this year will be something different and we’ll get our first glimpse at a Matt Macdonald team.

A lot of people noticed Rob Madore wasn’t included. I was getting messages from multiple people basically asking “What the hell?” To answer that, Madore is still technically under contract with Milwaukee. The Cyclones really can’t do anything with Rob until Milwaukee chooses to either renew his contract or not.

In other news: David Pacan was sent to Missouri to complete the Jack Downing trade. This really doesn’t surprise me in all honesty. Pacan was hot towards the end of the year but it was too little too late as for the majority of the year, he was nonexistent. After seeing what he could do in 2012-2013 as one of the Cyclones top centermen, I certainly hope he’s able to bounce back with whoever picks him up.

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