I have just been notified that the Carolina Hurricanes will not extend qualifying offers to defensemen Alexandre Picard and Brett Carson. There was a change of heart at the Canes front office and all other RFA's will be qualified except for those two.
Both players have been tendered one-way contract offers, but they have not been accepted as of yet.
A Hurricanes rep explained to me that both players were arbitration eligible and the organization decided not to risk having to accept the result of an arbitration award, which would have been binding to the team if the Canes had qualified them, (within parameters.) In Picard's case, the amount could have been over $1 million. (updated)
If the contract offers are not accepted, then as of Thursday, July 1, they both become unrestricted free agents and can negotiate with any team.
Picard did not see much action for the Hurricanes. He was included in the Matt Cullen deal to Ottawa in which the Canes also obtained a second round draft pick.
Carson was originally drafted by the Canes in 2004 and had turned into a solid defender during the course of last season.