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Qualifying Offers Extended
Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Gwinnett Gladiators have extended qualifying offers to three players for the upcoming 2013-14 season. Gwinnett has sent qualifying offers to forwards Casey Pierro-Zabotel, Alex Belzile and defenseman Sacha Guimond.

Pierro-Zabotel ranked first in scoring with Gwinnett last year. He earned 75 points (22 goals, 53 assists) in 66 games. He also notched nine points (one goal, eight assists) in ten Kelly Cup Playoff games. Pierro-Zabotel earned a call up to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League where he notched two points (one goal, one assist) in five games.

Belzile ranked second among Gwinnett rookies in scoring. He finished the 2012-13 season with 30 points (ten goals, 20 assists) in 40 games. Belzile also earned two assists in four Kelly Cup Playoff games with Gwinnett. The St. Eloi, Quebec native recorded eight points (three goals, five assists) in 14 AHL games with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Guimond was the ECHL Defenseman of the year for the 2012-13 season. He finished with 24 points (five goals, 19 assists) in 25 games with Gwinnett. He was acquired in a trade from San Francisco where he had 22 points (seven goals, 18 assists) in 33 games with the Bulls. Guimond also earned two call-ups to the AHL with Worcester and Norfolk where he was scoreless in six games.

Players who had already signed a contract by June 30 did not need to receive a qualifying offer.

Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four could be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the upcoming 2013-14 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until Aug. 1 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player will retain the rights to that veteran until Aug. 1. After Aug. 1, if the veteran player is not signed to a contract by the team, the veteran shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

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