MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Monarchs have made qualifying offers to eight of the players from their season-ending roster, according to a release from the team.

The spread includes four forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie: Charles Williams, Alexx Privitera, Rob Hamilton, Cory Ward, Tyler Sikura, Joe Diamond, Matt Leitner, and Tony Turgeon.

Williams spent a majority of the season in net for Canisius College’s Golden Griffins, backstopping them to the best record in the conference. He finished his college tour with a 21-7-5 (W-L-T) record, carrying a 1.82 GAA and an impressive .943 save percentage. With the Monarchs, he played in only three games, coming out undefeated with a 2.33 GAA and a save percentage of .919.

Right-handed defenseman Privitera split his first pro season between the Monarchs and their AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. In Manchester, he put up 22 points in 33 games, with 17 of those points coming from assists. He returned to the Monarchs in time to play 17 games during their strong playoff run, scoring one goal and marking three assists.

Rob Hamilton, a left-handed defenseman, finished off his college career this past year after four years with the University of Vermont Catamounts. His NCAA season included 33 games, scoring 10 goals with 11 assists, and finishing +11 on the season. His pro sortie was split between the Monarchs and the Springfield Thunderbirds, playing six games for each squad, picking up only one assist in each league.

Vegas-born forward Ward played a majority of the season with the Monarchs, with a cup of coffee spent in the AHL with the Syracuse Crunch in between (where he picked up one assist in two games before returning to Manchester.) Ward played 68 regular season games with the ECHL squad, where he put up 37 points in his first foray as a pro (16 goals, 21 assists) as well as playing in 17 playoff tilts, adding five points on a goal and four assists.

Veteran forward Tyler Sikura joined the team in March of 2017 after spending the majority of the season with the Toledo Walleye. He played in eight regular-season games with the Monarchs, with one goal and four assists to his credit. His regular season ECHL totals between the two squads were 14 goals and 20 assists. In the playoffs, Sikura was crucial to many of the Monarchs’ winning efforts, with five goals and six assists in 19 games. He also spent two stretches with the AHL’s Iowa Wild, putting up no points or penalty minutes in 16 games.

Joe Diamond returned for his second year in Manchester, going on to lead the team in goals with 23, accompanied by 27 assists for a total of 50 points. He also spent some time with the Springfield Thunderbirds, tallying one goal and three assists for a total of four points. Diamond has been a presence for the Monarchs during his time in Manchester, scoring 99 points in 106 games.

2016-17 scoring leader Matt Leitner was most impressive for Manchester over the last campaign, putting up over a point per game with 14 goals and 39 assists in 51 games. His scoring ways translated to the playoffs, as well, where he mustered eight goals and 14 assists in his 19 games. Leitner also spent time in Springfield with the Thunderbirds, with five assists in 17 games with the squad. The California native has exactly one point per game in his ECHL career and was a shoo-in to receive an offer.

Finally, left-handed defender and enforcer Tony Turgeon spent 38 games with the ECHL squad, marking 11 points and racking up 79 penalty minutes. Turgeon was another who was called to Springfield for a part of the year, doubling his ECHL goal total in just 12 games, and earning an additional 21 minutes in penalties. Though he didn’t score any points during his 17 playoff games, Turgeon did what he does best: playing his physical game and protecting the team’s scorers from retaliation, piling up 25 more penalty minutes and countless big hits.

These eight players have until August 1st to accept these qualifying offers. Non-veterans have their rights reserved for one year whether they accept the offer or not. After August 1st, the Monarchs have the right to renegotiate with non-veterans or choose to take no further action. Veteran players have their rights reserved only until August 1st, after which they become restricted free agents and are free to entertain offers from other teams. If an offer was received, the Monarchs would have seven days to match the offer if they wish to retain that player.

While it would be hard to argue with the decisions that were made, this leaves in question the status of captain David Kolomatis, as well as 49-point scorer Daniel Doremus, strong forward Kevin Morris, and contributing late-season addition Colton Saucerman. Other notable Monarchs who did not receive offers include Gasper Kopitar, Connor HardowaAshton Rome, and Craig Wyszomirski. It would be surprising if none of these players return to the Monarchs for 2017-18, could be receiving offers in the coming weeks or may have already been signed.

TheSinBin.net will be following the Monarchs’ roster situation very carefully this offseason, and will report any new contracts or notable roster moves.

For the latest list of player signings across the ECHL, visit our 2017 ECHL Transactions page!

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