NHL free agency: Mathieu Perreault could become an unrestricted free agent

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks are rolling the dice on restricted free agent Mathieu Perreault, not extending him a qualifying offer.

The Anaheim Ducks became a much deeper team down the middle by acquiring Ryan Kesler from the Canucks. On Monday, Bob Murray made a decision to potentially sacrifice some of that depth, electing not to qualify Mathieu Perreault and try offering him a contract. Should he decline, Perreault would hit free agency an unrestricted free agent, with Anaheim getting no compensation.

Perreault is coming off a year in Anaheim in which he scored 18 goals and added 25 assists in only 69 games played, both career highs. At 26 years old, he's still plenty young, and in a thin free agent market, especially at the center position, would command a lot of attention should he hit the market. Ryan Getzlaf's acquisition obviously makes Perreault more expendable, especially with Andrew Cogliano still under contract and the newly acquired Nate Thompson also able to play center.

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