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Penguins Give O’Connor Qualifying Offer, Decline Poehling Who Becomes UFA



Pittsburgh Penguins, Drew O'Connor

The Pittsburgh Penguins did not extend a qualifying offer to forward Ryan Poehling, who was acquired from Montreal in the Mike Matheson-Jeff Petry trade last summer.

He will be an unrestricted free agent, eligible to sign with any team.

Forwards Drew O’Connor, Jonathan Gruden and Filip Hallander, defenseman Ty Smith and goalie Filip Lindberg did receive qualifying offers.

Giving a player a qualifying offer preserves a team’s right to match any offer he would receive from another team, or to get compensation if it declines to match.

O’Connor is eligible to file for arbitration if he can’t reach a contract agreement with the Penguins, while Smith is not. Poehling would have been able to take the Penguins to arbitration, which might have been a factor in their decision to cut ties with him.

Poehling had seven goals (two of them shorthanded) and seven assists in 53 games with the Penguins last season, when he was deployed in a variety of bottom-six roles. The Penguins are allowed to re-sign him, but it is not known whether they will attempt to do so.

The Pittsburgh Penguins thus will retain the NHL rights to Hallander and Lindberg, even though both have signed to play in Europe next season. Hallander has a five-year contract in Sweden, while Lindberg is signed for two years in Finland.

Director of hockey operations Kyle Dubas also declined to extent qualifying offers to three minor-league defensemen: Colin Swoyer, Josh Maniscalco and Peter DiLiberatore.

They thus are free to sign with any team.