TAMPA — The Lightning issued qualifying offers Monday to most of its remaining restricted free agents, including wings Nikita Kucherov and Alex Killorn.
C Vladislav Namestnikov, G Kristers Gudlevskis, D Nikita Nesterov, LW Tye McGinn and LW Yanni Gourde also received qualifying offers. Teams had until 5 p.m. Monday to give qualifying offers, thus retaining their rights.
The Lightning still has to sign these players, Kucherov, Killorn and Namestnikov no doubt top priorities. Kucherov will get a big bump from his $700,000 salary, and is the one most likely to get an offer sheet from another team; the Predators signed Filip Forsberg to a six-year, $36 million extension Monday, helping set the market. Other teams can start talking to RFAs today.
Tampa Bay already signed RFAs J.T. Brown, Cedric Paquette and Luke Witkowski over the weekend. The agents for Kucherov, Killorn and Namestnikov said they planned to be in touch with Tampa Bay this week.
Camp opens: The Lightning's annual development camp opens today at 10:30 a.m. at the Ice Sports Forum in Brandon, and runs through Saturday, with a 3-on-3 tournament Friday and Saturday. The camp is open to the public, with admission and parking free. Nine of Tampa Bay's 10 draft picks from last weekend will be there, along with key prospects like Fs Brayden Point, Adam Erne and Mitchell Stephens, and Ds Matt Spencer and Dominik Masin. Schedule as follows: Today (10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.), Wednesday (9:45-2:30), Thursday (9-1:30), Friday (9-4 with 3-on-3 from 2-4), Saturday (9:15-1:30 with 3-on-3 11:45-1:30).
Nuts and bolts: The Lightning hired Jeff Halpern, a former Tampa Bay forward, as an assistant coach with AHL Syracuse. He was the Crunch's player development coach last season.