Panthers send qualifying offers to five RFAs

Included are G Marc Cheverie and forwards Mike Duco, Shawn Matthias, Kenndal McArdle & Mike Santorelli (20 goals...duh).

Among those not tendered were Steve Bernier (acquired in the Keith Ballard deal of a year ago), Byron Bitz (who?), and interestingly Niclas Bergfors (who looked to be a nuts-and-bolts part of Florida's future offense only several months ago):

"He just doesn't seem to be the right fit for us in the direction we're taking."

- Assistant GM Mike Santos on Bergfors

Happy with most of this, though McArdle is a fascinating study, and likely slated as a front-line player for whatever AHL franchise the Cats hook up with for the next few seasons. No surprise on Bitz, who has battled injuries almost since Day One of his Florida career. Duco continues to span multiple regimes with his sheer staying power; the next Darcy Hordichuk? And we're still waiting to hear Michal Repik's fate with the club.

Thanks to panthersfan27 for the link.

UPDATE: goaltender Tyler Plante was tendered an offer on Sunday.