An arbitrator will rule Friday on the free-agency status of three players who the National Hockey League Players' Association is contending didn't receive qualifying offers on time from the Nashville Predators.
The position of the NHLPA is that the offers to Sergei Kostitsyn and two minor leaguers were received late, and those players should be granted unrestricted free agency.
The NHL contends the proper guidelines were followed regarding the remaining players and, therefore, the players should remain restricted free agents, which gives the Predators the right to match any offer those players receive.
A statement released by the League in late June reads: "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."
Kostitsyn led the Predators with 23 goals last season, and his 50 points tied him with Martin Erat for the team lead.
Spaling had 8 goals and 14 points in 74 games last season. He inked a two-year deal worth $2.1 million. Halischuk signed a two-year contract worth $1.425 million after scoring 4 goals and 12 points in 27 games for the Predators last season. O'Reilly had 6 goals and 18 points in 38 games, and he signed for one year, $1.05 million. Mueller signed a one-way, one-year contract that would pay him $550,000 in the NHL.
Two other minor-league players were named in the complaint: Linus Klasen and Andreas Thuresson, who was traded to the New York Rangers for minor-league forward Brodie Dupont on Saturday.