The Atlanta Gladiators announced today that the team extended qualifying offers to eight players prior to the 12 p.m. deadline on Thursday. Forwards Chris Auger, JT Barnett, Justin Buzzeo, Patrick D’Amico, Thomas Frazee, and Garry Nunn as well as defensemen Kevin Albers and Tyler Shiplo all received offers. As such, all eight players remain property of the Gladiators, though contracts must still be signed in order for them to return to Atlanta next season. Players who 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 2016-17 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 August 1. After that date, 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 players 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 players rights and the Professional Hockey Players Association. The member with the players 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 August 31, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.The Atlanta Gladiators 14th season kicks off at the Infinite Energy Arena on Friday, October 14th against the Toledo Walleye at 7:35 PM. For ticket information, visit the official team website at www.atlantagladiators.com or call the main office line at 770-497-5100.The Gladiators are members of the ECHL, the nations premier AA hockey league. All home games are played at the 11,355-seat Infinite Energy Arena, located just off I-85 on Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth where parking is always free. The Gladiators have established an unrivaled commitment to excellence, maintaining a distinctive reputation for affordable and family-friendly sports entertainment and consistently ranked as one of the top Things To Do in the Atlanta area and across the North Georgia region.For all the latest team news, contests, and more visit AtlantaGladiators.com, or like the Gladiators on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AtlantaGladiators), follow the team on Twitter (www.twitter.com/ATLGladiators), Instagram (www.instagram.com/atlgladiators) or Snapchat (www.snapchat.com) at gladshockey . -###-
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