The NHL Draft is over, and tomorrow is free agency. Today is the final off-day before all hell breaks lose tomorrow at noon. However, it’s not an off-day by any means for the Penguins.
By 5 p.m. today, the Penguins need to decide whether they want to extend qualifying offers to their restricted free agents.
Among the notable restricted free agents for the Pens include forwards Ryan Poehling, Drew O’Connor, and defenseman Ty Smith. There’s also a string of prospects who are also RFAs, who include Jonathan Gruden, Filip Hällander, Colin Swoyer, Josh Maniscalco, and Peter Diliberatore.
If these players are qualified, that means the Penguins own their rights and can match any offer a team offers the player or can get compensation if they decide not to match the contract offered by the opposing team.
It is expected that Smith, Poehling, and O’Connor are going to get qualifying offers, but it’s unknown whether the other players will or not.
With their unrestricted free agents, the Penguins will be the only team that can negotiate with them until tomorrow at noon.
Some other notable free agents include AHLers Drake Caggiula and Dustin Tokarski, who both played some games with the Pens last season.
Jarry is the Penguins’ biggest free agent. If they lose Jarry, Dubas is going to immediately switch his focus to acquiring a new starting goalie for next season.