Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier (seen here at the NHL Entry Draft) finalized his qualifying offers Monday. Benoit Pouliot was amongst a trio who missed out. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The Montreal Canadiens did not make qualifying offers to pending restricted free agents (RFA) Alexandre Picard, Tom Pyatt and Benoit Pouliot. The trio will therefore become unrestricted free agents (UFA) on July 1.
The Canadiens had until 5pm Monday to make qualifying offers.
According to Radio-Canada's J-F Chaumont on Twitter, the Canadiens made offers to Josh Gorges, Yannick Weber, and Ryan White. The team also reached out to Hamilton Bulldogs Kyle Klubertanz, Mathieu Carle, Frederic St. Denis and Ryan Russell.
It comes as no surprise to many that Pouliot, who was in a career tailspin, was done in Montreal. A former first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Wild, he will now be able to test the open market. He made $1.35 million last season, and had 30 points (13 goals) in 79 games.
Picard played 43 games for the Canadiens last season, registering eight points. With the abundance of rearguards available in the organization, and five more picked up in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, it appears he was deemed expendable.