The Chicago Blackhawks qualifying offer disaster continues
From Darren Dreger of TSN:
According to both the NHL and the NHLPA, the investigation into how and why the Chicago Blackhawks bungled a number of their qualifying offers is ongoing.
Neither side will comment, however since this story broke Friday evening on TSN.ca, interest into how the league and players association will respond is significant.
If the NHL grants leniency and attempts to sweep this issue away, it’s expected the NHLPA will swiftly file a grievance and the matter will go to a hearing.
Sources with hands on knowledge of how qualifying offers have to be filed say as innocent as this mistake may have been, there is no excuse for it, and the league should follow through with the ultimate penalty and declare all players who didn’t received proper notification, unrestricted free agents.
Read the entire article here.
Needless to say, this would be the ultimate mistake if the Blackhawks lose the rights to these players (the list includes Cam Barker and Kris Versteeg). If the NHL follows the letter of the law, they may have no choice but to announce that these players are outright free agents. However, for the time being the NHL is attempting to sort this issue out behind closed doors. Even so, the article correctly states that the NHLPA will be following the situation closely and if the PA feels there is a chance that these players really should be free agents according to the rules–it will file a grievance.
Regardless of the result, you can bet teams will now pay even closer attention than ever to responsibilities like this.