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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay made their qualifying offers ahead of the start of 2023 NHL Free Agency

Tanner Jeannot. Photo courtesy of the Tampa Bay Lightning via Twitter (@TBLightning)

With the 2023 NHL free-agency period opening later today at 12:00 PM EST, NHL teams have made qualifying offers to their pending restricted free agents. The Tampa Bay Lightning revealed their offers as one of the last in the league with Tanner Jeannot and Simon Ryfors being the only players to receive those offers.

Tanner Jeannot has been of the most questionable trades during the Julien BriseBois era as the 26-year-old player still hasn’t proven why he was worth five draft picks, including a first-round pick in 2025. Part of the blame is obviously on his injury, which he suffered at the end of the regular season. Because of it he was limited to only three games in the first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, being far from his optimal shape, which resulted in zero points in those games. Jeannot’s qualifying offer is $892,500, but with the right to go into arbitration, he certainly will receive more, Evolving-Hockey projects his next contract at $2.1 million.

Simon Ryfors has signed a four-year contract with Rögle BK from the SHL, where he spent his whole career before joining the Syracuse Crunch two years ago. With this qualifying offer the Lightning are basically retaining his rights in case he decides to return to North America.

Amongst players, who didn’t receive qualifying offers and will become free agents today at noon are Rudolfs Balcers, Grant Mismash, Dmitri Semykin. Balcers is probably the most surprising player out of those three not to receive a qualifying offer. With 170 career games in the NHL under his belt, Balcers was expected to fill a bottom-six spot on the Lightning roster with the departure of the likes of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Corey Perry. Grant Mismash was acquired by the Lightning in a Ryan McDonagh to the Nashville Predators trade previous summer, spending this season between the AHL and the ECHL, playing mostly for the Orlando Solar Bears. Dmitri Semykin was selected by the Lightning in the third-round of the 2018 NHL Draft, but couldn’t stick in the Syracuse Crunch line-up, also spending most of his time with the Solar Bears in the ECHL.

Hockey News

With the free-agency period quickly approaching, it’s becoming more inevitable that Alex Killorn will hit the market, the Detroit Red Wings have recently emerged as his potential destination.

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association have purchased the Premier Hockey Federation on Thursday night with the new league is expected to launch in January 2024.

Yesterday was also a deadline for the NHL teams to place players on unconditional waivers for purposes of a buyout. Contracts of four players were bought out on Friday, including Matt Duchene, Blake Wheeler, Kailer Yamamoto, Mike Reilly.

The Carolina Hurricanes have granted Max Pacioretty permission to talk to other teams as he’s still recovering from the second tear of his right Achilles tendon.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are expected to sign Ryan Reaves on the first day of free agency.

Jonathan Quick is reportedly expected to sign with the New York Rangers.

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