Updated at 3:48 AM: The Free Press’s Helene St. James and the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan report that the Red Wings will not issue a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Martin Frk, making Frk a free agent on July 1st.
Per St. James…
Frk, 24, is a restricted free agent. He made $650,000 last season, and would have to be qualified at 110 percent of that by June 25 for the Wings to retain his rights. However, Frk has arbitration rights, and by risking going before an arbitrator, the Wings could end up paying more than $715,000 for Frk for a one-year contract.
Frk had 11 goals and 14 assists in 2017-18. However, he scored only three goals and had 10 points total the second half of the season, when games got tighter as teams fought for playoff positioning.
The Wings might offer Frk a contract as a free agent, but he could also explore going elsewhere. One possible destination is Dallas, where Frk’s former coach with Grand Rapids, Todd Nelson, is now an assistant coach.
Restricted free agents Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Bertuzzi will be qualified.
Of the team’s unrestricted free agents, the Wings have had talks with defenseman Mike Green about re-signing.
And the Detroit News’s Kulfan:
The Red Wings will not tender a qualifying offer to Frk, a restricted free agent, by the Monday, at 5 p.m. deadline, making Frk an unrestricted free agent.
The move is a mild surprise in that Frk, 24, scored 11 goals and 14 assists (25 points) last season — although only 1 goal over the final 23 games.
Frk was essentially a one-dimensional player, possessing that booming shot on a one-timer on the power play — accuracy is an issue, too — with little impact anywhere else on the ice.
Frk made $650,000 last season, and he has arbitration rights. If Frk were to take the team to arbitration, the Wings could wind up paying more than the $710,000 he’d make if the Wings extended a qualifying offer at 110 percent.
There’s a chance the Wings could revisit Frk in unrestricted free agency. But the organization wants young players such as Michael Rasmussen, Evgeny Svechnikov and Dominic Turgeon competing for roster spots in training camp, and Frk’s open roster spot would be welcome.
Restricted free agents Dylan Larkin, Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha will be qualified and multi-year contracts will be worked on with each.
As for the unrestricted free agents, the organization would like to re-sign defenseman Mike Green on a one- or two-year contract. But with so little depth on the free agent market, Green could easily receive a three-year deal from teams in desperate need of an offensive defenseman.
Update: MLive’s Ansar Khan confirms:
The Detroit Red Wings aren’t expected to make Martin Frk a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
General manager Ken Holland said on Tuesday that the club hasn’t decided. The deadline is Monday. The Red Wings would need to offer Frk a one-year deal for $715,000 — a 10 percent raise from his $650,000 salary last season — to retain his rights.
There was little support for re-signing Frk during the team’s pro scouting meetings last week. The Red Wings valued his hard right-handed shot but would rather use his roster spot for someone else.
The team could opt to sign Frk to a two-way contract later in the summer, depending on what other moves are made.