Agent for Benoit Pouliot is "confident" client will sign with Lightning despite no qualifying offer
The agent for newly acquired left wing Benoit Pouliot said he is "confident" his client will sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning despite not getting a qualifying offer.
"Couldn't think of a better landing spot than Tampa," agent Kent Hughes said.
Qualifying offers to restricted free agents were due Monday in order for teams to retain negotiating rights to those players. The Lightning announced it sent offers to defensemen Brendan Mikkelson, Keith Aulie, Evan Oberg and Brian Lee, and goaltender Jaroslav Janus. Goalie Anders Lindback was qualified by the Predators before the deal that sent him to Tampa Bay.
Not receiving offers were Pouliot and defenseman Sebastien Picher. They will become unrestricted free agents.
Not qualifying Pouliot may see odd since the Lightning acquired him from the Bruins on Saturday for minor-leaguer Michel Ouellet and a fifth-round draft pick, and that the plan seems to give Pouliot a chance to play as a top-six forward. But by not giving him an offer, Pouliot cannot invoke his arbitration rights.
Tampa Bay is confident it will sign Pouliot, and Hughes has the same view.
"I'm confident," Hughes said. "We think Tampa is a good fit, a good situation for Ben, a good opportunity at this stage in his career. He made real strides last year and would have been more than comfortable returning to Boston. Boston's got issues that they had to resolve in terms of numbers and cap money, so couldn't think of a better landing spot than Tampa."