Time to qualify
By doing so, the Habs now have the right to match any outside offer that might be sent to the restricted free agents, unless a contract is reached before July 1.
Andrei Kostitsyn, who had a breakout season alongside Alex Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec, headlines
Defensemen Josh Gorges and Ryan O’Byrne, forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Corey Locke and goaltender Jaroslav Halak are the other five to have been qualified.
Players have until July 15 to accept or decline the offer. Depending on their NHL experience, certain restricted free agents who decline their team’s qualifying offer can opt to go to arbitration to settle their contract.