From the NHL roster, the Penguins officially extended qualifying offers on Saturday afternoon to forward Dustin Jeffrey and defenseman Robert Bortuzzo, a team source confirms. The qualifying offer made to Jeffrey is for $687,500 and $577,500 for Bortuzzo.
It remains to be seen if Jeffrey will be around for the start of the season. Jeffrey’s camp had been anticipating Jeffrey being moved at the draft but I’m told the Penguins still feel he can be an NHL regular and while they know he might be in line for a change of scenery, I’m told the asking price was a third round pick for Jeffrey, which seems strikingly high. For now he’s still a Penguin.
Bortuzzo spent a full season on the NHL roster and could see a bigger role in 2013-2014. The Penguins are interested in signing Bortuzzo to a two-three year deal (1-way contract) this summer.
Harry Zolnierczyk acquired last week from Anaheim was qualified for $660,000. The Penguins feel Zolnierczyk has a shot at winning a bottom forward spot coming out of camp.
Other notable players tendered include goaltender Eric Hartzell, forwards Paul Thompson and Zach Sill.
Thompson in his second professional season, had 20 goals in 59 games for Wilkes Barre.
Sill is a name to keep an eye on. The Penguins are high on him and feel he could push for a depth spot as early as this season. He has some Joe Vitale traits in that he’s tenacious on the puck and has excellent speed. Sill, though has better size at 6-foot-0, 205-pounds and has a bit more toughness. He had 108 penalty minutes in 57 games for Wilkes Barre.
Assistant GM Jason Botterill is in negotiations with Sill on a 2-3 year deal (2-way contract), Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned.
NOTABLE PLAYERS TO RECEIVE QUALIFYING OFFERS
G Eric Hartzell – $874,125
F Dustin Jeffrey – $687,500
F Harry Zolnierczyk – $660,000
D Robert Bortuzzo – $577,500
F Paul Thompson – $577,500
F Zach Sill – $577,500