The qualifying offer deadline came and went at 5 PM EST with the Habs opting
to not qualify five players who played for the team last season. Tom Pyatt
($550,000), Alexandre Picard ($660,000), and Benoit Pouliot ($1,350,000) did not
receive their respective one year offers which means they all are eligible to
become unrestricted free agents on Friday.
However, this does not necessarily mean that they won’t still re-sign with
the Habs. Montreal went this route with Pouliot last offseason to
eliminate the former first rounder’s chance of filing for salary arbitration.
There were a pair of Hamilton Bulldogs who were not qualified either as Dustin Boyd and Nigel Dawes did not get their offers. Both already have
with Barys Astana of the KHL for next season.
The club did qualify seven others, retaining their restricted free agency
rights. Players qualified from the Habs were Josh Gorges, Yannick Weber,
and Ryan White, while Mathieu Carle, Kyle Klubertanz, Ryan Russell, and Frederic St. Denis were the Bulldogs who got offers. Klubertanz already has signed
with Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League for next season. These players
have until July 15th to accept the offer and cannot officially sign their offer
until July 1st.
In other news, Kirk Muller officially resigned as assistant coach for the
Habs to accept the head coaching role for the Milwaukee Admirals, the farm
affiliate of the Nashville Predators. Interestingly enough, it was Muller
Nashville’s assistant GM Paul Fenton to offer his services for the position.
On the rumour wire, it finally appears that the Jaromir Jagr sweepstakes are
about to come to an end. His agent
indicated that they intend to make a decision in the next couple of days.
Pittsburgh, one of the teams rumoured to be interested in the future Hall of
Famer, has reportedly not tendered him an offer yet. As usual, the Habs
have declined to comment on the matter.