Per Bruce Berlet, Rangers Assistant Coach/Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld has stated that CT Whale center John Mitchell will be given a qualifying offer:
Mitchell is a restricted free agent, but Schoenfeld said he would be qualified and given a chance to make the Rangers in training camp.
“I was really happy with him,” Schoenfeld said. “Here’s a guy that had a knee injury and missed seven weeks and then broke his foot (in Hartford), so one thing that was hurt was his conditioning. And yet he’s a big body (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) with skill, and he’s competitive and intelligent. So this is a very important summer for him in terms of his commitment to conditioning. He’ll get a real good look as far as becoming a Ranger.”
A QO for Mitchell will be in the amount of $761,250. Because Mitchell did not clear waivers last season, did not play 60 games last season, and did not play 180 games in the past three seasons, he is able to be presented with a two-way QO. Mitchell was acquired at the trade deadline this past season in exchange for a 7th round pick in the 2012 draft. If Mitchell makes the team, it will likely be as either the fourth line center or a 13th forward.
Considering where Mitchell would fit in for the team, it looks like he will essentially be replacing Chris Drury. All signs still point to the Rangers captain being bought out.