The Chicago Blackhawks tendered qualifying offers to restricted free agents Tomas Jurco, Dennis Rasmussen, Ville Pokka, and Erik Gustafsson, reports The Athletic’s Scott Powers. The deadline for doing so is at 5 p.m. ET on Monday, so any potential RFAs who are not qualified by then become unrestricted free agents.
By extending qualifying offers to Jurco, Rasmussen, Pokka, and Gustafsson, the Blackhawks retain negotiating rights and the ability to match any offer sheet signed by the four players. It more or less ensures that they’ll all get re-signed by Chicago, although trades remain possible.
Powers says that three potential RFAs — forward Michael Latta and defenseman Nolan Valleau and Kenton Helgesen — will not receive qualifying offers from the Hawks. All three will become UFAs on July 1 as the team relinquishes its rights.
None of these moves are particularly surprising. Jurco, Rasmussen, Pokka, and Gustafsson are all useful young players who can provide depth or be used as trade fodder. They wouldn’t let these guys walk for nothing. Some of them are no longer waiver-exempt, so they’d need to clear waivers to be assigned to the AHL, which might make trades more likely.
Players can reject qualifying offers, which are one-way deals worth 100-110 percent of the player’s base salary from the previous season, but the Hawks will still retain their rights if that happens.