The Blues have extended qualifying offers to eight players: Alex Pietrangelo, Chris Stewart, Jake Allen, Kris Russell, Evgeny Grachev, Philip McRae, Cade Fairchild and Tyler Shattock.
By extending qualifying offers, the Blues will retain the negotiating rights for all eight players when the free agency period officially begins on July 5th.
After qualifying Russell the Blues placed the defenseman on waivers.
Qualifying offers are a little confusing. Essentially it grants your team more time to figure out a deal with one of their restricted free agents. The offers work like so: Players who earned less than $660,000 in the previous season must be offered 110 percent of last season's salary. Players making up to $1 million must be offered 105 percent. Players making over $1 million must be offered 100 percent.
If no qualifying offer is made by the start of free agency (July 5th), the player becomes an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any club.
What's interesting – and a bit puzzling – is that the Blues placed Kris Russell on waivers. The Blues will retain his rights if he goes unclaimed due to the fact they qualified him, but by placing him on waivers the Blues are signaling that they are ready to move on without him. Moving away from Russell wouldn't be a total shocker considering the Blues signed Ian Cole to a two-year, $1.65 million contract.