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Report: Predators make qualifying offer goof with free agentsPlease recall back in 2009 when then-Chicago Blackhawks General Manager Dale Tallon's office failed to send qualifying offers to six key restricted free agents, forcing the team to scramble and sign them for higher-than-market value before they could leave as unrestricted free agents.

It was a scant few weeks later that Tallon became a former Blackhawks general manager.

According to several reports, Nashville Predators GM David Poile's front office may have had a qualifying offer snafu this offseason that could potentially expose some key restricted free agents — including leading scorer Sergei Kostitsyn(notes).

From Andy Strickland and TrueHockey.com:

The NHLPA is currently investigating the Nashville Predators who may have made a mistake in regard to their QO's being sent out late. We won't speculate as to what exactly took place but hockey fans, especially those in Nashville, should say tuned.

The situation would likely become more like Chicago in that the team gives the players a little bump (more than they would have gotten) to keep them with Nashville. It may be grieved or take some time if they cannot settle. It appears Nashville was possibly late sending out their qualifying offers. This is unlike Chicago who missed the deadline by days.

The players that could be affected: Kostitsyn, forwards Cal O'Reilly(notes) and Nick Spaling(notes) (who was a revelation in the playoffs) as well as right winger Matt Halischuk(notes). (UPDATE: Dirk Hoag adds Linus Klasen(notes), Andreas Thuresson(notes) and Chris Mueller(notes) to the list.) The team filed for arbitration with defenseman Shea Weber(notes), so he's not part of the qualifying offer situation.

This doesn't feel like the same magnitude of goof as the Chicago one, and there's no reason to believe any of these guys won't be back with Nashville after the good vibes from last season. Still, On The Forecheck is rightfully concerned about 24-year-old Kostitsyn hitting the open market after a career year.

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