Boutin, Egener, Others Not Qualified

Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune is reporting that the Tampa Bay Lightning has tendered qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ryan Craig, Justin Fletcher, and Jay Rosehill, thus retaining the club's rights on these players.

Qualifying offers were not tendered to former second round pick Mike Egener, goaltender and former third rounder Jonathan Boutin, Zbynek Hrdel, Marek Kvapil, Ryan Munce, and recently acquired defenseman Mario Scalzo Jr., making them unrestricted free agents. Kvapil and Scalzo, along with Stanislav Lascek, had already signed contracts to play with European teams next season.

For more information, including news of a possible new contract for Vincent Lecavalier and Marc Denis' buyout, click here.

BP Notes: It's a shame to see the rights to Egener and Boutin released, though there was some doubt going into the offseason that they would be retained. Both are great kids but never were able to develop as expected (Egener) or show consistent improvement (Boutin). In Egener's case, the organization tried in vain last year to move him to forward to see if he had more to offer as a grinding fourth liner.
Fletcher being retained is a bit surprising as he was dealt to Rockford (AHL) late last year. Considering he was on a one-year deal, the move seemed to indicate there may not be interest in him. With the lack of offensive defensemen in the system, it appears Fletcher was a more desired commodity. He certainly has some upside to work with.
Also, as Erlendsson pointed out, with Denis' buyout and Boutin and Munce not being qualifies, Riku Helenius is the current No.3 goaltender. He won't be come September, of course, but this looks like a clear attempt to secure an AHL spot for Helenius to be brought along into professional hockey by a free agent signing of an NHL 2-way/AHL veteran goaltender.

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Rosehill

Something tells me if Melrose sees how this kid plays (Rosehill) there's a good chance he could get a longer than expected look in training camp... I know it sounds crazy - but I think the tougher hard-nosed players will get better looks than they wuld have in the past - considering the look of this new organization...

And if i'm T-Nasty I would watch myself. While T-Nasty can play tough he surely doesnt play hard every shift - something Jay did pretty well in the AHL

So is R2 Roy's replacement?

If Artyukhin signs and comes

If Artyukhin signs and comes over as planned, he will likely be Roy's replacement, although I would like to see Rosehill and O'Brien battle for a roster spot. There should be a a healthy battle for the last few remaining D-man roster spots, as Boyle, Ranger, and Kuba have locked up spots. This leaves Picard (almost certain NHLer), Lukowich (expendable but veteran leader), O'Brien (must learn 'new NHL' defensive strategy but still young), Lundin (must add physicality to his game), Smaby (would be nice if he added offence to his package) and Rosehill (like Smaby, tough but 1-way). I dont think Mihalik is read yet. The Bolts should be looking for a Ryan Malone-type player to fill in the second-line gap and protect Stamkos. Does anyone know if Prospal is actually signed yet?

Arty is not an enforcer, and

Arty is not an enforcer, and hence, is not Roy's replacement. If they do not re-sign Roy, hopefully another enforcer will be brought in (Godard would be nice).

Rosehill was playing forward in the AHL, so, unless he is a Ben Clymer clone and they play him at forward and d, I don't see how he will battle O'Brien for anything. That being said it would be great if Rosehill made the team.

And so just what do you

And so just what do you think Arty is, a skilled forward? He can fight and stands up for his teammates-he will be Tampa's heavyweight next year, with a slight offensive upside-not enough to be considered a power forward. You gonna argue that he's not big enough to be a heavyweight?? Also, Rosehill's natural position is D, and he can play both that and forward, but was placed there...? Not because he is a forward, and so he could battle O'Brien for his spot. Looking forward to another argument soon, keeps the brain going in the summer.

If I had to consider

If I had to consider Artyukhin anything at this point, it would be a giant-sized agitator. He has all of 1 "real fight" in 72 NHL games. Oh yeah, and that fight wasn't sticking up for a teammate, it was because he had no choice. If you remember it was because he had gotten under Gratton's skin and had to fight him. That seems to be what he is good at...getting under peoples skins. Not saying that he won't stick up for a teammate, because I definately think he will (I sure hope he will).

17 points in 72 games doesn't exactly scream power forward, but considering his linemates and amount of ice time (and the fact that he was a rookie), is by no means poor. Give him some time and I think he will surprise you with his offensive output.

Just because someone is big, it doesn't make them a heavyweight. Not saying that he may not develop the ability to become one, but he needs more experience in the fighting department. Plus, I just don't think that is the role they want Arty to be in. Sure, he will fight, but I think the new coach and ownership want a different role for him than strictly fighting.

Sure, Rosehill's natural position is D (he was drafted as a Defenseman), so he can play there if they need him (just like David Koci did last year). However, when he gets moved to forward in the AHL (again, not saying he "can't" play D), but it doesn't cross my mind as someone who might compete for one of the top D spots on our NHL team. I say top D spots, because I believe under Melrose, O'Brien will become much more utilized.

yep

I agree with the agitator billing, but he has had (supposedly) many more fights while playing in Russia. I too hope he can become more than just an agitator, maybe developing into an Avery-type player with offensive talent. O'Brien needs help with his defensive work, and he should be kept on the third DP until he can become more reliable, again hopefully developing well. Anyways, I dont think Rosehill will be a serious consideration for an NHL roster spot, not next season, not ever. I was in a bad mood yesterday, got back from my baseball game and you should have been there and seen what was going on. Brutal.

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