Agent Kent Hughes stressed it all is part of the process and does not mean there are any hard feelings between his client and the Tampa Bay Lightning. In fact, Hughes said he believes Teddy Purcell will get a new contract through negotiations. Still, Hughes said he is ready to file for arbitration by the July 5 deadline on behalf of the right wing.
Purcell is a restricted free agent. The Lightning made his a qualifying offer of 105 percent of his $750,000 salary to maintain his negotiating rights.
"We've had some conversations, but there's not a heck of a lot to report," Hughes said of negotiations with Tampa Bay. "At the end of the day he's an arb-eligible player. We'll file for arbitration and then we have a window of time to try to come to a negotiated solution."
Purcell, 25, had a breakout season in 2010-11 with career bests of 17 goals, 34 assists and 51 points. He also played well in the playoffs with six goals, 17 points in 18 games.
As for negotiations, Hughes said he understands and appreciates general managers go down a list based on time lines and priorities. And with the draft just finished and the rush to sign unrestricted free agents before Friday and the first few days of actual free agency upcoming, it is understandable Steve Yzerman's immediate priority is not with an arbitration-eligible case.
"Teams are really trying to tackle things on a priority basis based on time lines," Hughes said. "So, the fact that they qualified him reflects the fact that they're ready to live with whatever the arbitration decision is."
That said, Hughes added, "My assumption is we're going to be able to negotiate the terms of a deal. I have no reason to believe otherwise."