The Red Wings did not issue qualifying offers to Martin Frk, Dylan Sadowy, Axel Holmstrom or Libor Sulak on Tuesday, allowing the quartet to qualify for unrestricted free agency.
For players like Frk and Sadowy, success and consistency were hard to find at the NHL level, but Frk was a prolific AHL scorer, and Sadowy found a home with the ECHL’s Toledo Walleye.
Fresh off a run to the ECHL’s championship round (Toledo lost to the Newfoundland Growlers), the Toledo Blade’s Mark Monroe and Walleye coach Dan Watson wished Sadowy well:
Sadowy, a 23-year-old from Woodbridge, Ont., played in parts of the last three seasons for the Walleye.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound forward averaged more than a point per game for Toledo this season with 46 points (23 goals and 23 assists) in 43 games. He then played in 24 playoff games and was part of the deepest postseason run in the team’s 10-year history. Sadowy had 17 points with seven goals and 10 assists as the Walleye reached the Kelly Cup finals for the first time.
Sadowy appeared in 88 regular-season games in Toledo and tallied 79 points (36 G, 43 A). He also played in 33 playoff games and had 21 points (10 G, 11 A).
Sadowy (pronounced SAD-oh-way) was selected in the third round of the 2014 NHL draft by San Jose. The Red Wings then traded for Sadowy in May, 2016, in exchange for a future third-round draft pick.
Walleye coach Dan Watson said Sadowy’s goal should be to earn a contract with an American Hockey League team.
“Hopefully he’s ready to make the next step. I hope another organization sees it and he runs with it,” Watson said. “The offense will be there. It’s just other details in his game. He has gotten much better. With his production at this level, I would love to see him become a full-time AHL player.”
Monroe continues, and while it’s disappointing that Sadowy didn’t make the NHL during his time with the Red Wings, there is no shame in becoming a successful minor league player, and I always wish the prospects who don’t make the Red Wings well in their future endeavors. They’re still people worth rooting for.