The best laid plans of the Nashville Predators got a little bit more complicated with the developments this morning regarding the qualifying offers made to their restricted free agents. Yes, the team and the league have stated that they believe everything has been done according to form, but it's the NHLPA which has the next move here, and their investigation continues.
At the very least, we'd expect that the affected players won't sign new contracts until this issue is resolved, unless they are able to use this affair to press for a more favorable deal (as Cam Barker did with Chicago in 2009), which the Preds agree to. At worst, the NHLPA files a grievance and gets an arbitrator to rule the players are eligible for immediate, unrestricted free agency.
In the case of Sergei Kostitsyn, that could spell disaster for the Preds; given the nature of the market this summer (teams with money to spend and few offensive performers available), SK74 could hit the jackpot and leave the Preds with nothing in return.
One interesting coincidence here? Sergei Kostitsyn's agent is Don Meehan of Newport Sports Management... the same agency which just lost Shea Weber's business to a smaller firm.
While you ponder that happenstance, follow after the jump for some afternoon hockey notes...
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Nashville Predators News
New Nashville Predators jerseys now on sale! | Hockey Gear HQ - news, reviews & deals
After providing a sneak peek at their jerseys for the 2011-12 NHL season, the Nashville Predators' new road jerseys are available for pre-order online.
Smashville 24/7: Conversation with Austin Watson
Ryan got a few words in with last year's 1st-round draft pick.
Paul McCann - Multiple sources of bad information
I think Paul's a bit too quick to sweep this RFA stuff under the rug. The NHLPA has plenty of time to file a grievance if they find a problem. The fact that the team and NHL are saying everything's OK isn't surprising.
Predators May Have Gotten Lucky With Weber Arbitration | PuckScene.com
Did the Preds avoid shooting themselves in the foot by filing for arbitration with Shea?
Smashville 24/7: Preds Free Agency Primer
Ryan breaks down the Predators about to hit the market, and a few options for David Poile to consider from around the league.
Preds On The Glass: POTG Wednesday Morning Headlines, News, and Links
Buddy's morning roundup is well worth your time.
A busy offseason continues for Predators prospect Craig Smith - Nashville Predators Examiner
Smith is expected to head back to the University of Wisconsin this fall, but he's one of the hottest forward prospects in Nashville's system.
Preds To Play 3 Home Games in 2011 Preseason - Nashville Predators
The team has released the pre-season schedule, which include a home date against the Winnipeg Jets.
Around the NHL
Paul Kariya announces retirement - The Globe and Mail
Injuries took their toll on the speedy winger for years, and multiple concussions have now ended Paul Kariya's career.
What does your favorite team need this summer? - NHL.com
David Poile, here are your marching orders.
2011 Free Agency: Joel Ward Leads Free Agent Forward Targets for San Jose - Fear The Fin
Hey, hands off our Wardo!
Why Semyon Varlamov chose KHL over Washington Capitals - Puck Daddy
Sign it with me, Caps fans - my goalie lies over the ocean...
Why Tomas Vokoun is likely to become an Av | All Things Avalanche
Our old pal may be coming back to the Western Conference...
Rangers Breaking News: Chris Drury Officially Will Be Bought Out - Blueshirt Banter
An ugly end for New York's captain.
Habs trade James Wisniewski’s rights to Columbus - Houses of the Hockey
Columbus grabs a pending free agent from Montreal, can they sign him?
Tampa Bay Lightning and G Dwayne Roloson on the same page; both sides "optimistic" a deal is coming - Lightning Strikes
If they don't get this deal done, the Lightning better have a Plan B at the ready. Roloson really turned their season around.
Andrew Brunette Fires Uptown Sports Agent Over Sean Avery-Gay Marriage Incident - SBNation.com
The former Nashville Predator dumps his agent for publicly wading into the gay marriage debate.
Goal Line Report : A Positive Outlook On the NHL
*gasp* What? We're not supposed to say that things are going well...