The Chicago Blackhawks have responded very quickly to a grievance filed by the NHL Player's Association of mishandling their qualifying offers to restricted free-agents by signing defenceman Cam Barker to a three-year, $9.25 million contract extension.
Barker was one of five players whose qualifying offers from the Hawks reportedly were mailed but didn't arrive on time. Had Barker not agreed to a deal, and the grievance had gone through, he could have potentially become an unrestricted free-agent.
Forward Kris Versteeg however remains unsigned. The Calder trophy finalist had 22 goals and 31 assists for the Hawks last season. Should Versteeg sign the grievance would become moot.
23-year old Barker had six goals and 34 assists in 60 games for Chicago last season and added three goals and six assists during the Blackhawks' playoff run.
The Winnipeg native was originally selected third overall by the Blackhawks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.