Thursday's notes: RFA issue revolves around a single question

The Nashville Predators had scheduled a press availability for GM David Poile later today at Development Camp, but rather than looking ahead to the team's strategy for the free agency period which begins on Friday, I suspect a good deal of the focus will be on this developing situation with the team's RFA's.

There's only one question that really needs to be asked and answered here:

"How were the Qualifying Offers delivered to the players in question, and what makes you believe that the team met the 5:00 p.m. Eastern deadline on Monday?"

Monday afternoon, assistant GM Paul Fenton joined the Afternoon Press Box show on WNSR, talking mostly about the draft, but included in that conversation was a side comment about Qualifying Offers, and I distinctly remember Fenton saying "they need to go out by 4:00 p.m. today" (audio, sadly, is not available). It certainly sounds like, at a minimum, the team cut things dangerously close here. Why not send them out in the morning? Why not before the weekend?

Hopefully our local media asks some of these questions today. Stay tuned...

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Nashville Predators News

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303 QUICK POLL: Should Sullivan and Kariya have their numbers retired? | Section 303
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Trotz sees no need for Predators to pursue more offense | Nashville City Paper
David Boclair really belts out the company line here. There's no need for offensive help, those were just "erroneous reports" yesterday about the offer sheets, etc.

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Getting passed over in the draft last year just motivated Josh Shalla to prove scouts wrong, and Nashville picked up on that this time around.

Nashville Predators prospect Taylor Beck uses Coyote as role model - The Tennessean
And no, it's not Wiley Coyote. Taylor's picked a good one, though.

Nashville Predators Announce Return of Popular Flex Ticket Plan - Nashville Predators
Gone is the 13-game partial season ticket package, and instead this year the Flex 10 has become the Flex 12. As a former 13-game package holder, I'm still not sure what to do!

Around the NHL

Paul Kariya: The Memory Remains | Jerseys and Hockey Love
Perhaps Paul Kariya's most heroic moment as a player came in the 2003 Stanley Cup Final. But are moments like this really worth the cost?

Stamkos, Stamkos, Stamkos: Pros and cons to the Flyers sending Steven an offer sheet - Broad Street Hockey
There's been lots of noise about Philadelphia possibly extending an offer sheet to the Lightning striker. I have a hard time believing Tampa wouldn't match any deal.

The Cap Floor and Salary Dump Candidates - Houses of the Hockey
Trying to figure out how Florida fills out its roster and hits the salary floor.

The buzz begins for Brad Richards - The Dallas Morning News
All they can do in Dallas now is stand by and watch their dynamic center hit the market.

Penguins Sign Arron Asham to One-Year, $775,000 deal - PensBurgh
The Penguins sign one of their support players.

Habs sign Yannick Weber for 2 years | All Habs
Montreal inks their 3rd-year blueliner.

Famous Last Words - Blueshirt Banter
Best of luck to Jim Schmiedeberg, who leaves SB Nation's Rangers blog.

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.

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