Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/06/09 at 07:41 PM ET
from Darren Dreger of TSN,
Sources tell TSN the National Hockey League Players Association has filed a grievance over the Chicago Blackhawks mishandling of a number of its qualifying offers and intends to argue the players affected by the mishap, who remain unsigned, should be ruled unrestricted free agents.
The NHL will be notified and can agree with the NHLPA’s filing, or the league can disagree and the case will move on to an expidited hearing.
“In response to various media inquiries, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) confirms today that it has filed a grievance regarding the failure of the Chicago Blackhawks to submit Qualifying Offers to its 2009 Restricted Free Agents prior to the deadline stipulated in the CBA. The NHLPA will make no further comment on the matter, which is now pending before the Impartial Arbitrator,” said Jonathan Weatherdon, NHLPA Spokesperson.
At this moment, it’s the Players’ Association’s contention, these players are unrestricted free agents and free to negotiate with any team.
added 6:16pm, from Tim Sassone of Between The Circles,
The status of only Versteeg and Barker is in question since the Hawks signed five of their restricted free agents on Monday, including Troy Brouwer, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Corey Crawford and Aaron Johnson.
According to a source, the five restricted free agents chose to re-sign with the Hawks rather than be part of the union’s grievance. Brouwer and Crawford signed two-year deals while Eager, Johnson and Fraser re-uppped for one.
Obviously the agents for Versteeg and Barker see the Hawks’ blunder as a golden opportunity to get their clients a bigger payday.
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