‘Hawks Lose Paperwork, Could Lose Star Players

The good thing about restricted free agency is that it allows teams to hang on to their young talent, to give them time to become fan favorites and maybe even franchise players some day. It really would have been nice if the Blackhawks would have taken advantage of that.

Chicago Blackhawks

In a move that seems like something more out of the “Dollar BillWirtz era, the Chicago failed to deliver the paperwork to six of their young players before the deadline passed, so by the letter of the law, those aren’t Chicago’s players anymore.

Stars Kris Versteeg and Cam Barker are among the six players who should have been tendered a qualifying offer by the team. It’s usually a formality, since the team is allowed to match any other offers for the restricted free agents. So the Blackhawks just had to give their RFA’s the paperwork by June 29th, and all would have been good.

The paperwork got lost in the mail.

At least one player, [Aaron] Johnson, still had not received his offer Saturday even though general manager Dale Tallon said Wednesday all offers had gone out and that he expected to sign all the team’s restricted free agents.

“As of today Aaron has never received his qualifying offer and neither has my office,” Johnson’s agent, Allan Walsh, said Saturday. “I don’t recall ever having a situation when a team has issued a qualifying offer and the player and agent haven’t received a copy.”

Tallon said the offers were mailed out and postmarked June 29th, so even if they haven’t arrived, they should still be legal. But according to the league’s CBA, qualifying offers aren’t supposed to be mailed at all, rather faxed or couriered to the players.

Think it’s just semantics and technicalities, that this is no big deal?

In 2000, the New Jersey Devils forgot to file the paperwork to renew the contracts for Brian Rafalski and John Madden.

Rafalski was scheduled to make $450,000, while Madden would have earned $550,000 had the mistake not been made.

Instead, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello was forced to pay market value rather than allow his two stars to go free.

Rafalski agreed to a 4-year, $11 million dollar extension. Madden signed a 4-year, $7 million dollar deal.

So, Blackhawks fans, when your team can’t afford a trade deadline addition under the cap, just remember it’s because they were too cheap to use FedEx or UPS.