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Tyler Kennedy Not Given Qualified Offer, Becomes Unrestricted Free Agent on July 1

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In order to retain rights to Tyler Kennedy, the Pittsburgh Penguins needed to make a qualifying offer to him by 5:00 tonight.  The time passed and they decided not to, which will make Kennedy an unrestricted free agent free to sign with any team of his choosing on July 1st.  The Penguins will not receive any compensation if he signs elsewhere.

The QO only had to be a small percentage above his $725,000 2010-11 salary, a mere formality.  That the Penguins did not make it, shows they did not feel they would be able to re-sign Kennedy.  As a restricted free agent with his NHL years of service and age, Kennedy would have had arbitration rights later this summer that probably would have resulted in a hefty payday of $2-3 million.

Though Kennedy was coming off a 21 goal season, and the fact the Pens have little right wing NHL depth, they have decided not to retain his rights past this Friday.  It's a shocker and the first major domino to fall in the Penguins summer free agency drive.

Now, doubtlessly, all eyes will turn to the Czech Republic to see if Pittsburgh will make an offer to Jaromir Jagr...Stay tuned..