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.