Sources tell TSN the NHL and the NHLPA are investigating what might have been an enormous mistake by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Chicago tendered qualifying offers to several key players this week, including Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Aaron Johnson and Troy Brouwer, however the investigation underway is to determine whether the qualifying offers were filed correctly…
Chicago general manager Dale Tallon says the qualifying offers were mailed to the players in time, on June 29th, but says because of the July 1 holiday, some of the players didn’t receive them in time.
If the player did not receive the offers in time, they did not receive them at all. If they did not receive them in time, they are unrestricted free agents. How can it be otherwise? If I represented Kris Versteeg and he had not received his qualifying offer by the deadline, I would immediately announce that my client was an unrestricted free agent and open the bidding for his services.
That we have not heard from any of the agents involved makes me wonder whether we have heard the entire story. This is a set of circumstances where the agent has to stand up for the player because nobody else is going to do it.
Both the NHL and NHLPA will prefer it if they can find a way to wink at Tallon’s blunder. Nobody wants to see the Hawks take this sort of blow just as they are set to become one of the league’s top revenue drivers. Paul Kelly in particular would like to kick Tallon in the balls because his interests in the matter are conflicted every which way. He wants Chicago revenues, too, and while Tallon’s mistake benefits a handful of players it is the rest of the players who pay the price. That egregious management errors are paid for by the players is the most distasteful part of the CBA.
What an incredible blunder. Tallon waited until June 29th to mail out offers that had to be in the player’s hands by July 1st? Inexcusable. I’d fire him for it no matter how this turns out.