NHLPA files grievance over Preds' qualifying offers to RFAs Staff

6/30/2011 12:19:24 AM

The National Hockey League Players' Association has filed an official grievance over what it believes was improper filing of qualifying offers by the Nashville Predators to seven restricted free agents.

The Players' Association contends that Sergei Kostitsyn, Matt Halischuk, Nick Spalding and Cal O'Reilly, along with three minor-leaguers did not receive qualifying offers in timely fashion.

The NHLPA will ask independent arbitrator George Nicholau for an expedited ruling so players can have their status determined as quickly as possible with the free agency period starting at Noon ET on Friday.

The league issued a statement earlier Wednesday maintaining that their procedures were followed.

"We are not aware of any defects relating to qualifying offers tendered by the Nashville Predators to certain of the team's players as several media outlets are reporting. Those players, having timely received qualifying offers, will be restricted free agents as of July 1, and both the players and the team will be accorded the various rights and benefits of restricted free agency as are set forth in CBA."

In the past, the Chicago Blackhawks were found guilty of qualifying offer foul-ups and players such as Cam Barker and Kris Versteeg, amongst others, received inflated contract offers to avoid them becoming unrestricted free agents after an arnitrator ruled in favour of the NHLPA.

The same thing happened many years ago with John Madden and Brian Rafalski in New Jersey.

If Nicholau rules in favor of the Players' Association, the Predators players in question would become unrestricted free agents.