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Pouliot’s agent “confident” client will sign with Lightning

Benoit Pouliot

A few eyebrows were raised today when the Tampa Bay Lightning didn’t provide recently acquired forward Benoit Pouliot with a qualifying offering, effectively making the 25-year-old an unrestricted free agent.

However, Pouliot’s agent, Kent Hughes, is certain his client will still sign with the Lightning.

“I’m confident,” Hughes told the Tampa Bay Times. “We think Tampa is a good fit, a good situation for Ben, a good opportunity at this stage in his career. He made real strides last year and would have been more than comfortable returning to Boston. Boston’s got issues that they had to resolve in terms of numbers and cap money, so couldn’t think of a better landing spot than Tampa.”

Pouliot was traded by the Bruins on Saturday for Michel Ouellet and a fifth-round pick.

The Times reports the decision not to qualify Pouliot was made to prevent him from invoking his arbitration rights.