About 90 minutes under the 5:00pm EST deadline the Dallas Stars have announced that they did indeed give a qualifying offer to Tom Wandell, a week after they qualified most other RFA's.
The total list of RFA's qualified by Dallas stands at Jamie Benn, Tom Wandell, Richard Bachman, Philip Larsen, Ryan Garbutt, Luke Gazdic, Jordie Benn, Colton Sceviour and Mark Fistric.
The trading of veteran center Mike Ribeiro over the weekend raised concerns (that still exist) about Dallas' depth at the position and the lack of a qualifying offer for the 25 year old Swede who tallied 15 points and a -5 rating last season, but the extension of this offer may raise even more.
Wandell has repeatedly been given the chance to step into the top-six and create offense but has failed to grasp the opportunity fully each time. He is a serviceable fourth line player with a reasonable defensive game but the Stars, with Vernon Fiddler and Cody Eakin now on the roster, appear flush with players in that mold that are better options, and better faceoff men as well.
With younger prospects coming up from the lower levels demanding ice time and certain older players that would be better suited to third and fourth line roles when the club (hopefully) addresses their needs at the top, sliding back to fill some of those spots as well, there doesn't appear to be a place for Tom Wandell, but the Stars will retain his rights regardless.
Tom Wandell, Vernon Fiddler, Steve Ott, Cody Eakin... The Stars have many centers, but none, in the estimation of most, are viable options for a real number two center behind Jamie Benn this coming season. So we'll see what happens.
Where does Tom Wandell fit?