Lost in the shuffle of the release of protected players for the expansion draft on Sunday morning were a few reports detailing the talks between the Hawks and restricted free agent forward Dennis Rasmussen.
This tweet came out Sunday morning, from Barstool Chief, the site’s Blackhawks’ blogger:
Blackhawks offered RFA Rasmussen a contract...he turned it down. Couldve perhaps played a role in their decision to protect Jurco instead— Chief (@BarstoolChief) June 18, 2017
Chief added that part about protecting Tomas Jurco over Rasmussen in the expansion draft was speculation on his part.
A few hours later, Sun-Times reporter Mark Lazerus had some more information from his sources:
Source: #Blackhawks and Dennis Rasmussen's camp have had lots of discussions. Both want him to return. Waiting for cap/expansion draft, tho.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) June 18, 2017
Everything's on hold until the expansion draft plays out and the cap number is official, though.— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) June 18, 2017
Like so many other things going on with the Hawks right now, it’s just a waiting game to see where the pieces will fall once the expansion draft happens later this week.
Rasmussen had four goals and four assists in his 68 games played and appeared in three of the Hawks four playoff games, scoring one of the team’s three goals in that series with Nashville.
The Hawks signed him as a free agent in 2014 and he made his debut in the NHL at the age of 25. He’ll be turning 27 on July 3, so it’s hard to consider Rasmussen one of the Hawks “younger” players. But there were times when Rasmussen looked like the type of solid checking line forward that provides crucial depth for a potential Cup contender. And with Marcus Kruger likely on his way out of town soon, the Hawks will need players like Rasmussen to fill the void.