Bolts Qualify Just Five Prospects; Allows Eight Players to Walk

The Tampa Lightning have retained the rights to five pending restricted free agents by issuing qualifying offers to forwards Johan Harju, Ted Purcell, and Steven Stamkos, along with defenseman Scott Jackson and goaltender Riku Helenius.

Pending restricted free agents that did not receive a qualifying offer include forwards Alex Berry, Stefano Giliati, Levi Nelson, Paul Szczechura, defensemen Mike Lundin, Vladimir Mihalik, Kevin Quick, and Matt Smaby. Seven of these eight players will be unrestricted free agents on July 1, with defenseman Kevin Quick having signed an AHL contract with the Norfolk Admirals.

Missing from the list is defensemen Bruno Gervais, acquired this past weekend from the Islanders, who may or may not be a pending restricted free agent, as his salary and number of NHL games may qualify him for Group VI unrestricted free agency on July 1. Also missing from the list goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, who was thought to be a pending restricted free agent, but might have some other status. BoltProspects is attempting to confirm Gervais' and Desjardins' pending free agent status with the organization.

UPDATE: The Lightning have confirmed that defenseman Bruno Gervais was tendered a qualifying offer along with the other 5 players, and that goaltender Cedrick Desjardins is indeed a pending unrestricted free agent.