Blackhawks

Blackhawks decline to extend qualifying offers to Anthony Duclair, Tomas Jurco

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks decline to extend qualifying offers to Anthony Duclair, Tomas Jurco

Anthony Duclair and Tomas Jurco were not tendered qualifying offers by the Blackhawks before Monday's 4 p.m. deadline, a source said, making each of them an unrestricted free agent on July 1. They're free to discuss a new contract with another team immediately because the negotiating window opened Sunday.

Duclair was in the final year of his entry-level contract that carried an $894,167 cap hit. The fact he had arbitration rights perhaps contributed to the Blackhawks wanting to part ways with the 22-year-old forward if there were no plans for him to be part of the every day roster, considering he could have commanded roughly $1.5 million per year, which is the same amount Vinnie Hinostroza was rewarded with earlier this month.

Duclair, who was acquired mid-season from the Arizona Coyotes for Richard Panik, racked up two goals and six assists in 23 games for the Blackhawks before missing the final 13 games of the season with a leg injury. The potential is certainly there — he scored 20 goals as a 20-year-old in 2015-16 — but he hasn't been able to put it all together yet and the Blackhawks have a surplus of young forwards ready to earn a spot on the 23-man roster.

Jurco signed a one-year extension with the Blackhawks worth $800,000 last summer in a prove-it type contract. He started the season with the Rockford IceHogs, where he registered 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) in 36 games. It earned him a call-up in January, but it took a while for him to crack the lineup because of a logjam on the Blackhawks roster and he was never quite able to could get into a groove.

Still, in the big picture, Jurco compiled only 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 42 games across two seasons in Chicago. Both parties were likely ready to move on from each other.

Jurco had a decent showing at the IIHF Men's World Championship, where he scored four goals and added an assist in seven games, which could help his case when seeking a contract elsewhere.

It's believed the Blackhawks also chose not to extend qualifying offers to Adam Clendening and Michael Chaput, the latter of whom was acquired on Sunday from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Tanner Kero.

Start of the Blackhawks Dynasty, Part 9: Memorable Canucks series

Start of the Blackhawks Dynasty, Part 9: Memorable Canucks series

In a 10-part series, we look back at the 10-year anniversary of the 2008-09 season, the start of the Blackhawks dynasty.

After eliminating the Calgary Flames in six games and securing their first playoff series win since 1995-96, the Blackhawks were on to the Western Conference semi-finals, where they would meet the Vancouver Canucks. And what a memorable series this would shape out to be, the start of a terrific rivalry that would develop over the next several years.

The Blackhawks didn't have home-ice advantage this time, but it turns out they didn't need it.

After falling into a 2-1 hole, the Blackhawks evened up the series in Game 4 at the United Center when Andrew Ladd re-directed a Dave Bolland shot in overtime to put the pressure back on the Canucks heading back to Vancouver. It was a pivotal moment in the series, but the turning point may have started late in Game 3.

Although he didn't score until Game 5, Dustin Byfuglien was an absolute wrecking ball and unquestionably got into Roberto Luongo's head with his net-front presence and physicality. 

The Blackhawks locked up Game 5 in Vancouver and returned to Chicago, where they would beat the Canucks 7-5 in Game 6 thanks to a hat-trick by 20-year-old Patrick Kane. It was that night when Kane was coined with the nickname: "Hat-trick Kane."

And of course, who could forget Luongo's postgame press conference when he was moved to tears after accepting blame for the series loss?

Relive the series in the video above.

Joel Quenneville: Corey Crawford's short on-ice session part of schedule after six straight days of skating

Joel Quenneville: Corey Crawford's short on-ice session part of schedule after six straight days of skating

For the sixth straight day, Corey Crawford skated one hour before Blackhawks practice on Wednesday. But this one was the shortest on-ice workout of training camp.

After several discussions in between drills with head athletic trainer Mike Gapski and goaltending coach Jimmy Waite, Crawford's workout ended at 20 minutes. His sessions have usually lasted around 30.

Asked after practice about it, coach Joel Quenneville said not to read anything into it as it was all part of the schedule and that Crawford worked out in the gym afterwards as well. He is scheduled to have an off day on Thursday.

"We still like the progress and the way he's going along here," Quenneville said. "We're still encouraged that his progress is headed in the right direction."

Crawford said on Day 1 of camp that he's still dealing with concussion-like symptoms from last season, but that he's "really close" to returning. Conditioning is one of his biggest hurdles as well, because he hasn't been able to up the intensity on training the way he normally does over the summer.

"Every single day is movement, conditioning, he's feeling good, I think that's half the battle," Quenneville said. "You're getting conditioning out of it and all of a sudden you get in different positions and movements and then there's progress along the way with the velocity of shots, when there's traffic, there's bodies, so we're trying to add a little bit of something and a different look every single day.

"It's the routine in the schedule. Today was six in a row, let's let this slow down a little today and tomorrow he's off."

Injury updates

In other injury news, Blackhawks team physician Michael Terry released a medical update on Connor Murphy, who could now miss up to 12 weeks with a back injury.

“Connor will have a period of six weeks during which he will be off the ice," Terry said in a statement. "He will undergo further testing at that time to determine if it is appropriate for him to begin more physical activity or require an additional four weeks of rest. This puts Murphy’s overall timeline at approximately eight to twelve weeks before returning to the lineup.”

Jan Rutta is also listed as day to day with a groin injury. Quenneville said it's not believed to be serious.

First wave of cuts

In addition, the Blackhawks made their first wave of cuts by re-assigning goaltender Alexis Gravel (Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL), forward Philipp Kurashev (Quebec Remparts) and defenseman Jake Ryczek (Halifax Mooseheads) to their respective junior teams and released forward Shaw Boomhower from his amateur tryout.

"Kurashev, I didn't mind him," Quenneville said. "I think they all did alright. I think that the two kids going to Halifax, they got good coaching there. [Halifax head coach] Eric Veilleux was a guy we had him a little bit around in the Quebec days and I think they're going to be excited about that. They're hosting a Memorial Cup so those two guys will be having an exciting year for them. Phil is going to Quebec, going to play for Patrick [Roy]. Going to get great coaching as well, good opportunity for these guys. I thought he had a good camp. Jimmy was talking the goalie [Gravel] that he was impressed with him as well. For a young kid coming in here he learned a lot and I think that will be a good year for him as well."

The roster currently sits at 53 players: 28 forwards, 19 defensemen and six goaltenders.

Top guns set to make preseason debut

The Blackhawks brought a bunch of young guys to Columbus for the first preseason game, but Thursday should be different. Alex DeBrincat, Patrick Kane, Chris Kunitz and Jonathan Toews (and likely Nick Schmaltz and Brandon Saad) are among the most notable players that will be traveling to Detroit to face the Red Wings. Anton Forsberg and Kevin Lankinen will be the two goaltenders and are expected to split time in net.