On Tuesday it appears the Blackhawks won’t be bringing forward Dennis Rasmussen back after all.
Despite reports that the Hawks had extended a qualifying offer to Rasmussen, it now appears the organization will let him become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. The Blackhawks did not protect Rasmussen in the expansion draft, a move that was a bit of a surprise to some.
According to Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times:
“another source said the Hawks soured on Rasmussen in March, when he turned down a contract extension offered by the team, hoping for a bigger bump in pay. Rasmussen was promptly benched for seven of eight games — after playing in 45 of 47 leading up to that point — and the Hawks eventually decided to part ways. A league source said the Hawks didn’t tender Tomas Jurco his qualifying offer until the last minute on Monday (defenseman Erik Gustafsson, for contrast, received his more than a week ago), so it’s possible the Hawks were deciding between the two bottom-six forwards.”
Rasmussen, who turns 27 on July 3, played on a $575k cap hit last season. He had eight goals and nine assists in 112 regular season appearances for Chicago over the last two seasons.
The Blackhawks originally signed Rasmussen as a free agent on June 10, 2014.