Francisco re-signs; qualifying offers sent.

The Reign’s 2010-11 roster began to take shape Friday, when Jon Francisco was announced as the first signing of the new season and eight qualifying offers were mailed out.

Francisco, 29, is the only captain in team history and a valuable two-way center. In 72 games, he had 15 goals and 45 points – both down from the previous season (20 goals, 48 points), when Francisco appeared in 63 games.

“He’s been one of our core guys,” Reign coach Karl Taylor said. “He had a decent season last year. We’re going to expect more out of him next year, and I know he’ll expect more out of himself.”

Qualifying offers were tendered to a league-maximum eight players: James McEwan, Greg Hogeboom, Jon Rheault, Geoff Walker, Curtis Darling, Peter Lenes, Mike Zacharias and Chris Curran.

None of the qualified players have re-signed with the Reign. The qualifying offer remains open until August 1, or until it is accepted by the player, during which time he cannot be traded.

The Reign will retain each qualified player’s ECHL rights for next season, regardless of whether or not he returns. For example, Taylor does not expect Peter Lenes back after the forward recently signed in Austria. But if Lenes decides to return to the ECHL, “maybe we’ll keep him, or maybe we’ll (trade) his rights.”

The complete list of qualified ECHL players can be found here.

  • J.P. Hoornstra

    In the case of all three, the qualifying offer is merely an insurance policy of sorts.

    Rheault has probably earned himself an AHL contract after his play in Abbotsford, but the qualifying offer allows the Reign to keep his ECHL rights if he winds up back in the ECHL at all. Same with Hogeboom and Lenes – if they play anywhere in the league, it’ll be in Ontario. And if they want to play in the ECHL but not in Ontario, now Taylor can trade their rights and get something in return. If they aren’t qualified, and they wind up playing somewhere in the ECHL next season, Taylor gets nothing in return.

  • Reign Fan

    I also heard that Kraus and Starling have re-signed with the Reign as well.

  • Reign Fan

    Why offer to Petey when he already signed with a team in Austria. I also thought that Hogey was not going to play anymore and I would of thought that Abbotsford would of signed Rosey?

  • Alma

    I read on Geoff Walker’s Facebook page that he is headed to Russia? Can you confirm it?

  • J.P. Hoornstra

    I have not heard a thing, but will try to confirm this weekend.

  • Crossbar

    Coach Taylor’s remarks aside, I personally was not impressed by Francisco’s play last season. His goal production was down 25% compared to ’08/’09, while his PIMs rose nearly 27%, with many of the latter coming at very inopportune times. He appears to be a first-class guy off the ice, but his performance on the ice in ’09/10 was certainly not of the caliber one would expect from one’s captain. And if last season taught us anything, it’s that stupid penalties and poor execution on defense is usually a fatal combination, particularly for teams playing a defense-first scheme.

    No, what remains to be seen this summer is how Karl and the front office go about addressing the gaping holes on offense. With Rheault all but assured an AHL spot, and Hogie apparently not interested in playing any longer, the Reign has its work cut out for it. Obviously, a Mark Derlago type forward (or two) would be a step in the right direction. A goal scorer with some grit–now there’s a winning combination.

    Go Reign!:)

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