The deadline for restricted free agents to receive qualifying offers came and went at 4:00 p.m. CT on Monday. The Chicago Blackhawks had seven players needing qualifying offers, and at the deadline, only three received one.
Did the following Blackhawks receive qualifying offers?
Nikita Zadorov: YES
Brandon Hagel: YES
Alex Nylander: YES
Adam Gaudette: NO
David Kampf: NO
Pius Suter: NO
Josh Dickinson: NO
— Mark Lazerus (@MarkLazerus) July 26, 2021
Brandon Hagel, Alexander Nylander, and Nikita Zadorov all received qualifying offers from the team, while Pius Suter Adam Gaudette, David Kämpf, and Josh Dickinson did not. Suter, Kämpf, and Dickinson could still sign with the Blackhawks leading up to Wednesday’s opening of free agency in the NHL.
Not long after the qualifying offers were made official, the Blackhawks announced a new, one-year deal with Gaudette with a $997,500 cap hit.
It is surprising to see Kämpf and Suter not receive offers, especially Suter. Given his performance in his rookie season last year, Suter seemed like a shoo-in to get a new deal with the Blackhawks. But with a flat-cap next season and a plethora of middle-six forward options, the Blackhawks might be looking to penny-pinch the former NLA MVP.
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
Kämpf has been a solid fourth-line center and there could be real interest on him in the open market. But according to Scott Powers of The Athletic, the two sides could still come to an agreement before the opening of free agency on Wednesday.
The Blackhawks and David Kampf are still talking and may still reach an agreement on a new contract, according to a source.
— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) July 26, 2021
It was not surprising to see Hagel and Nylander receive their offers, as both are young and have shown flashes of promise at the NHL level. Hagel was a breakout rookie last season and Nylander, who missed all of last season with an injury, could find a place with the Blackhawks next season if he returns to health at his full potential.
When it comes to Zadorov, things continue to be touch-and-go with the 26-year-old defenseman. Chicago has lost Duncan Keith and Adam Boqvist this offseason, while adding Caleb and Seth Jones. The Blackhawks exposed both Calvin de Haan and Zadorov in the Seattle Expansion Draft, but neither were taken. So the blue-line group still has question-marks surrounding it. Negotiations with Zadorov have reportedly been all over the place, with his camp setting the asking price for his new deal being $5M+ per year, while the Blackhawks have reportedly countered in the $4M range.
If you’ve been reading Bleacher Nation this season, and especially this offseason, you’ll know I’m not a fan of Zadorov coming back to the Blackhawks at a higher price than what he made during last season ($3.2M). I just didn’t see what he brought to the table that would garner that much of a pay raise. In my eyes, Chicago would be able to do better with the money saved on re-signing Zadorov, than they would with giving him a contract extension.
We will see how things progress this week and in the next 40+ hours leading up to the opening of free agency in the NHL.