ECHL: Allen Americans Announce 2024 Qualifying Offers

The Allen Americans interesting off-season continues as it appears that the Americans will have a completely different team not only off the ice with the changes in ownership and head coach as the Americans have elected to offer only two players qualifying offers in Liam Finlay and Ty Farmer, the least amount of players protected by any ECHL team, as teams were allowed to protect a maximum of eight players. Here are the rules for qualifying offers per the ECHL:

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until July 22 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, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until July 22. After July 22, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the player 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 player’s 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 player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s 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 8, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

Players Protected

Liam Finlay- The 27-year-old forward had spent the last two seasons with the Americans, playing in 80 games while putting up 44 goals and 45 assists for 89 points and had an incredible rookie season during the 2022-23 season where he made the All-Star Game and would be named to the All-Rookie Team; unfortunately, he couldn’t repeat it during the 2023-24 season where he would be limited to just 26 games where he would pick up 11 goals and eight assists for 19 points in 26 games. He would add three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 16 career Kelly Cup Playoff Games. Finlay spent two overseas after finishing his collegiate career at Denver University. The BC native put up 34 goals and 64 assists for 98 points in 156 games with the Pioneers, including winning a National Championship with the school in 2017. Finlay has already signed to play overseas next season.

Ty Farmer– The 26-year-old just finished his rookie year with the Americans, in which he put up five goals and five assists for 10 points in 46 games. He’s added two assists in 10 career Kelly Cup Playoff Games. There’s a lot of promise with Farmer despite a shortened rookie year and could prove to be an essential piece for the Americans moving forward in their rebuild for the 2024-25 season. Prior to joining Allen, Farmer spent five seasons at the NCAA level, four of which came at UMass, and he would play his final year at the University Of North Dakota. Like Finlay, he would win a National Championship, but he would win it with UMass in 2021. In 171 games at the collegiate level, he would put up 12 goals and 43 assists for 55 points.

What This Means For the Americans

The Americans will undoubtedly have their hands full for the next three months. They have only made one signing so far, and Finlay is the only other player currently connected to the Americans at this moment. Obviously, you have the two new expansion teams in Lake Tahoe and Bloomington who will have to build a roster completely from scratch, but the Americans will be right there with them this off-season. It will be interesting to see what kind of roster Allen is able to put together before the season kicks off in October.

Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

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