The Coyotes took the first step toward re-signing their own restricted free agents Monday, extending qualifying contract offers to seven players. Those on the list are defensemen Keith Ballard, Matt Jones and Brendan Bell, forwards Josh Gratton, Bill Thomas and Joel Perrault, and goalie David LeNeveu.
Players cannot accept the offers until Sunday and Jones, Bell and Gratton have arbitration rights.
Of the organization’s restricted free agents who played at the NHL level last season, only forward Jeff Taffe did not receive a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent come Sunday. The 26-year-old had some strong performances for the Coyotes after being called up late in the season and finished with four goals and six points in 17 games.
“I was hoping I would have at least one more year here,” Taffe said. “I only played against Western teams (last season), so hopefully one of them gives me a shot.”
Additionally, minor league forwards Jakub Koreis, a first-round pick in 2002 (No. 19 overall), Randall Gelech, and Lance Monych and defensemen Matthew Spiller (taken No. 31 overall in 2001) and Joe Callahan did not receive qualifying offers.
LOOSE PUCK: The Coyotes will hold their rookie camp July 5-11 at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. Among those expected to attend are Blake Wheeler, Martin Hanzal, Peter Mueller and Kyle Turris, the team’s No. 1 draft choices from 2004-07, respectively.