Monday’s 4 p.m. deadline for qualifying offers to restricted free agents has passed and one notable name from the Blackhawks did not receive one.
Forward Pius Suter, who had 14 goals and 13 assists in 55 games during his rookie season, did not receive a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks. Chicago still has until Wednesday morning to negotiate a deal with Suter or he’ll become an unrestricted free agent when the free agency period opens at 11 a.m. CT.
The Blackhawks also did not extend qualifying offers to forwards Josh Dickinson, Adam Gaudette and David Kampf, putting them on the same path as Suter. This doesn’t necessarily mean those players are going to be playing elsewhere next season, though. In fact, one of those players has already re-signed for next season: Adam Gaudette, on a one-year deal worth $997,500.
Signed on the dotted line— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) July 26, 2021
Forward Adam Gaudette is back for another year in Chicago. #Blackhawks
Contract negotiations don’t appear to be going as well with Suter, though, as his agent tweeted this just before the 4 p.m. deadline for qualifying offers:
The negotiations between the @NHLBlackhawks and @pius_suter didn’t lead anywhere yet, looks like he’ll become an unrestricted free agent by Wednesday. 14G (27P) in 55GP in his rookie season. #nhl #blackhawks #FreeAgency— Georges Müller (@georgesmueller) July 26, 2021
The “looks like he’ll become an unrestricted free agent” part seems to be the biggest headline there.
Elsewhere, three of the Blackhawks restricted free agents did receive qualifying offers: forwards Brandon Hagel and Alex Nylander along with defenseman Nikita Zadorov. All three of those players now have the option to sign that qualifying offer or negotiate a different contract. Chicago still retains the right to all three players for now.
Zadorov will be a name to watch over the next few days, as reports have suggested he’s negotiating a new deal with Chicago but that the two sides are yet to reach common ground on financial terms. His name has surfaced in multiple reports of trade rumors and he was also left unprotected for last week’s Seattle Kraken expansion draft.
Hagel, who turns 23 in August, became a fan favorite during his first full NHL season thanks to a relentless style of play that earned him 9 goals and 15 assists in 52 games. He joined the team as a free agent signing in October 2018 after the Buffalo Sabres drafted him in the sixth round (159th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft but never signed him.
Nylander, 23, missed the entire 2021 season with an injury but played 65 games in the ‘19-20 season, scoring 10 goals with 16 assists.