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Cats Extend Qualifying Offers To Two

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
Left Wing David Booth was one of just two players the Cats have tendered a qualifying offer by the 5:00pm deadline.

By Dave Joseph for floridapanthers.com

The Panthers tendered qualifying offers Monday to restricted free agents David Booth, the team’s leading goal scorer last season, and prospect David Brine.

The restricted free agents that were not qualified:

Steve Eminger
Anthony Stewart
Drew Larman
Tanner Glass
Franklin MacDonald
David Shantz

The Panthers also announced forward Brett McLean was placed on unconditional waivers.

Sexton left the door open regarding some of the players not tendered offers, including Eminger, who was acquired for a third-round pick late last season and defenseman Noah Welch.

“It’s not that we’re not bringing him back,” said Sexton of Eminger, who scored one goal in nine games with the Panthers after having 23 points (19 assists) in Tampa. “I talked to his agent today and he has a fairly strong arbitration case and I’m not prepared at this point to put the organization at risk for a significant arbitration award. His agent and I had a great chat. If after July 1 he’d like to come back and chat, we can.”

Glass, who played in 41 games for the Panthers in 2007-08 but remained with the team’s American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate last season in Rochester, might also return at some point.

When asked if Glass could be welcomed back if a deal could be worked out in the coming weeks, Sexton said, “Absolutely.”

“If we can find a way to have him in the organization, great,” Sexton added. “But we have some stuff that we want to do and see where that takes us first.”

Those things include signing David Booth, who teams could tender an offer sheet to come Wednesday. Sexton said he talked with Booth’s agent Monday and “we’re continuing to talk.” Asked if it was money or length of a contract holding up Booth’s contract, Sexton said contract conversations were confidential between the team and player.

Regarding the Panthers unrestricted free agents, Sexton said the Panthers would welcome back forwards Radek Dvorak and Ville Peltonen and defenseman Karlis Skrastins if contracts could be worked come Wednesday. Sexton said Peltonen and the Panthers had not had a “meeting of the minds” on salary as of yet, and signing Skrastins would depend “if we can get him at the right price and term.”

Sexton said he met with Dvorak’s agent Saturday morning in Montreal before the Entry Draft.

Of the players not tendered offers Monday, MacDonald, Larman and Glass played last year in Rochester. Shantz split his time between Rochester and the East Coast Hockey League. Stewart, drafted by the Panthers in the first-round (25th overall) of the 2003 Draft, had two goals in 59 games last season. In 105 NHL games, Stewart had four goals.
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