The Chicago Blackhawks did not pickup the qualifying offers on two players
The Chicago Blackhawks have really torn it all down so far this offseason. It started with a questionable return for Alex Debrincat on draft day, followed by trading another young talent in Kirby Dach during the draft. They weren’t done there as now they have made the wrong choice in not qualifying two more young players who could at the very least bring back something in return.
Dylan Strome will not receive a qualifying offer from the Blackhawks, per source. The former No. 3 pick will be a UFA.
Strome averaged nearly a point a game over the second half of the season as the No. 1 center between DeBrincat and Kane. His QO would have been $3.6 million.
You look around the NHL and see the types of players not receiving qualifying offers from their teams. No players are near the talent of Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik and the Blackhawks are just letting them walk and become unrestricted free agents.
As far as decisions go, I can understand trading DeBrincat to get assets that should come to fruition down the line when the team is trying to come out of a rebuild, but not getting anything for young players with skill and offensive ability is something nobody should be happy with. There’s no doubt that both Strome and Kubalik will get solid offers right away and be effective players in their careers.
Blackhawks Wasting Solid Talent
As noted above by Mark Lazerus, Strome would have had to have been qualified for $3.6 million next season. From a team that is rebuilding, if they aren’t going to keep their young players around, they can at least sign them for solid deals and get some picks back in return. Strome put up 22 goals and 48 points in 69 games, well worth the $3 million he was making last season and even $3.6 million. He isn’t a top centerman like the Blackhawks used him at times, but he is a solid middle-six forward that can be used at center and the wing. That is a very fair price for that kind of offensive production.
Kubalik is a player who had a down year last season but shouldn’t be written off. He finished third in Calder Trophy voting in his rookie season (2019-20) and has regressed each of the two seasons since scoring 30 goals. Sometimes goal-scorers get snake-bitten more often than playmakers of two-way players as offense/goals are the most difficult aspect of the game to consistently produce at a high level. That’s why the players who can make the big money. He is still young and even scoring 15 goals last season isn’t nothing. Kubalik can be another good middle-six option for a team and the Blackhawks could’ve taken advantage of any interest rather than letting him go for nothing.
It’s one thing to break it down, but it’s another to make bad decisions while doing so. Not qualifying Strome and Kubalik was the wrong decision and will be looked back upon at a later date.
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