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.
Obviously many teams will be waiting with bated breath to see the outcome of this situation. Especially since:
If the PA is accurate and the players involved are deemed unrestricted free agents, the Blackhawks could lose both forward Kris Versteeg and defenceman Cam Barker to the open market.
The interest in these two players league wide as UFA's would be significant. In Barker's case, one league source cites his value at $3 million on the low end, and as much as $5 million on the high end.
The Chicago Blackhawks have cap issues and may not be able to afford to compete in the feeding frenzy without making drastic moves to free up money.
I would love for the Rangers to get their hands on Barker, basically a younger JayBo, or Versteeg. Maybe Hossa's contract will come back to bite them afterall ... You're thoughts?