Sources: NHL and NHLPA investigating Blackhawks over offers Staff

7/3/2009 9:07:14 PM

Sources tell TSN the NHL and the NHLPA are investigating what might have been an enormous mistake by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago tendered qualifying offers to several key players this week, including Kris Versteeg, Cam Barker, Ben Eager, Colin Fraser, Aaron Johnson and Troy Brouwer, however the investigation underway is to determine whether the qualifying offers were filed correctly.

If not, there is the remote possibility the qualifying offers could be ruled invalid and the players listed above, conceivably, could be deemed unrestricted free agents because of the blunder.

There are few details, but one source says the players involved didn't receive the necessary notification of the offers.

The National Hockey League is in the process of trying to determine whether the situation was remedied in time.

Chicago general manager Dale Tallon says the qualifying offers were mailed to the players in time, on June 29th, but says because of the July 1 holiday, some of the players didn't receive them in time.

Additional sources say qualifying offers are not supposed to be mailed.

Overnight delivery via courier and direct fax to the players agent is preferred and certified or registered mail is acceptable only if the other means are unavailable.

Tallon says fax copies of the offers were sent to the league, so he doesn't anticipate any significant fall out.

However, sources say some of the qualifying offers were not faxed to the agents.