Jun 282011

Michael Frolik, Chris Campoli and Viktor Stalberg all received qualifying offers by Monday’s 4pm deadline as expected.

One player who did not is center Jake Dowell.  According to Dowell’s agent Neil Sheehy in a report by ESPNChicago.com, the Blackhawks chose not to tender the Blackhawks center a standard qualifying offer, thus setting Dowell up for unrestricted free agency on July 1st.

The Hawks are looking to upgrade their fourth line and Monday’s news would appear to indicate Dowell is another odd man out.  To retain Dowell’s rights, the Hawks would have needed to make him a “qualifying” offer of one year and $605,000.

It’s also important to note that Dowell was scheduled to be tested for Huntington’s disease this spring, a condition both his father and brother suffer from.  There have been plans in the works by the Blackhawks to hold a Huntington’s benefit this upcoming season.

The qualifying offers to Frolik, Campoli and Stalberg essentially give the team right of first refusal in the upcoming free agent negotiation period.  The players can choose to accept the Hawks’ offers, seek an offer sheet from another club, walk away (as in go play in Europe) or continue negotiating with the Hawks on a new deal.  The one-year qualifying offer secures the player’s rights, preventing them from entering the open market unconditionally this coming Friday.

The offers tendered to the abovementioned are such:

Michael Frolik – $803,250
Chris Campoli – $1,400,000
Viktor Stalberg – $735,000

Stan Bowman has told the media in several outlets recently that negotiating with those three, more specifically Frolik and Campoli, is his priority this week leading up to Friday’s open free agency kick off.

No official word on which Blackhawks prospects scheduled as RFA’s this week received qualifiers.  We may have to wait until Friday when the league releases a full list of free agents to know on those.  Here’s the list and the QO’s the Blackhawks would be obliged to tender…

Evan Brophey ($550,000)
Brian Connelly ($550,000)
Rob Klinkhammer ($550,000)
Mathis Olimb ($605,000)
Alec Richards ($605,000)
Ivan Vishnevskiy ($803,250)

Qualifying offers are based on the player’s prior year salary, minus bonuses.  For players with a base salary (minus bonuses) of less than $660,000, a qualifying offer is 110%.  For those with prior year salaries between $660,000 and $999,999, the qualifying offer is 105%.  For any player with a prior year salary of $1,000,000 or more, the qualifying offer is 100%, or equal to the figure in the final year of that player’s recently completed contract.

Olimb and Vishnevskiy have already signed with European league clubs.  Chicago would still tender offers in order to hold their rights though.

The Blackhawks previously reached new agreements with Corey Crawford and Alexander Salak.  Both goaltenders were set to become RFA’s prior to coming to terms on those.  Crawford would have needed a QO of $892,500.  Instead he negotiated a longer agreement, three years and total of $8 million for an annual cap hit of $2,666,667.

Salak would have received a qualifying offer of $826,875, but it would have been a two-way contract, paying him at a rate of less than one hundred thousand if he were to play in the AHL.  Instead, the Blackhawks gave Salak a guaranteed one-way contract, securing the Czech native for the next two years.  Salak will be make $625k and $600k in the next two years regardless of AHL/NHL, carrying with him a $612,500 cap hit on the NHL roster.

While all indicators point to Salak starting the season as Crawford’s back up, and Stan Bowman has said as much, its not unusual for the Blackhawks to give a goaltender NHL money to play in the minors.  To keep Crawford in their system and happy in 2009, the Hawks paid Crawford $750,000 to play in Rockford.

Ryan Potulny, sent to Ottawa in the Chris Campoli trade along with a second-round pick at last weekend’s draft, was not tender a qualifying offer from the Senators and will now be an unrestricted free agent.

To no surprise, Troy Brouwer, sent to the Capitals last week, was qualified ($1,025,000) by Washington.


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