Dallas Qualifies Joel L'Esperance, But Landon Bow Will Head to Free Agency

Landon Bow (Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)

The Dallas Stars announced their slate of qualifying offers today. It was mostly as expected with one exception, not qualifying Landon Bow. Dallas qualified Radek Faksa, Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov and Joel L'Esperance. The club did not qualify Landon Bow, Josh Melnick or Tony Calderone.

The non-QO for Calderone and Melnick was not entirely unexpected. Calderone was unlikely to get a QO from the start of the season as he didn't show much in the first year of his deal and spent almost the entire 2019-20 season in Idaho, but only managed four games, moving on and off the reserve list frequently. Melnick could have been borderline, but given the internal cash crunch that is rumored to be affecting the Stars budget, it's not a good financial bet to sent money after a marginal player who may not actually play at all this season depending on the outcome of the AHL season schedule.

As for Landon Bow, in any other world, he is qualified. The long playoff run showed that Jake Oettinger is the clear #3 in Dallas and that Bow would be spending his coming season in the AHL barring extreme circumstances. If, as mentioned above, the AHL season is not a going concern this year, then Bow's QO is wasted money for the Dallas Stars. For reference, recall the Stars decision not to sign Curtis Douglas to an entry level contract over the summer. In any normal year, Dallas would have taken a flyer on the sizable center, but the idea of paying out an ELC for nothing was not appetizing.