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Jackets Part Ways with 7 RFAs

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The Dispatch's Aaron Portzline has confirmed that the Blue Jackets will not qualify 7 restricted free agents, making them free to seek another team on July 1st.

The list includes Tomas Kana and Gustav Wesslau, both of whom have already inked new deals in Europe, Michael Ratchuk, Peter Kalus, Anton Stralman, and Sami Lepisto.

Of that group, Lepisto is the only real surprise - after his acquisition in the Klesla deal along with Scottie Upshall, many expected Lepisto to be retained as he would provide a puck moving option for the team's third pairing, especially at the relatively low ($840,000) cost of a qualifying offer. Our "Should He Stay Or Should He Go" poll, however, had roughly 2/3 of voters looking for a change. 

This move also frees roster spots for free agent or trade acquisitions and could allow some movement from the team's defensive prospects, particularly if David Savard or Nick Holden make a hard push towards making the team in training camp.