Sources: Blackhawks won't extend qualifying offers to Dominik Kubalik, Dylan Strome

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Sources: Hawks won't tender offers to Kubalik, Strome originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks will not extend qualifying offers to pending restricted free-agent forwards Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome before Monday's 4 p.m. CT deadline, sources confirm to NBC Sports Chicago. That means both of them will hit the open market when free agency opens on Wednesday.

Forwards Andrei Altybarmakyan and Cameron Morrison, defenseman Wyatt Kalynuk and goaltender Cale Morris are also not expected to be tendered qualifying offers. Forward Philipp Kurashev and defenseman Caleb Jones are the only two players expected to receive one, which means the Blackhawks will retain their rights. Kurashev's qualifying offer is $800,000 while Jones' is $900,000.

Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson said in May that the team is looking for cap flexibility as they embark on a full-scale rebuild, so it's no surprise he's being calculated on how he fills out the roster.

"Any time a player is due for a raise or a new contract, you have to be looking not just for the next season but for the seasons moving forward," Davidson said at the time. "That definitely goes into the decision-making process when it comes to any RFA or UFA or player you're going to bring in or contract you're going to sign.

"Flexibility is a really important aspect of us moving forward. I think we have to be very smart and understanding what that could do to us moving forward. We don't want to be put in a corner, because cap space goes so quickly and it's so hard to get that flexibility back."

Kubalik, who was eligible for arbitration and would have had a qualifying offer of $4 million, was a Calder Trophy finalist in 2019-20 after scoring 30 goals and 46 points during his rookie season, which earned him a two-year, $7.4 million with the Blackhawks. The 26-year-old winger scored only 15 goals in 78 games last season, and the Blackhawks didn't view him as a long-term piece going into their rebuild.

Kubalik was close to being traded to Colorado for a fourth-round pick at the deadline, per sources, but the eventual Stanley Cup champion Avalanche landed Artturi Lehkonen from Montreal at the last minute instead.

Strome, 25, not being retained is the bigger storyline, although maybe it shouldn't be a total shock, given Davidson's plan to clear the decks. The Blackhawks also appear to be targeting speed-type players up the middle, and that was clearly evident with their 2022 NHL Draft class.

Strome was almost a point-per-game player from January and on after falling out of favor with former head coach Jeremy Colliton at the beginning of the season. He was eligible for arbitration, which would have made for some interesting contract negotiations. His qualifying offer would have been $3.6 million.

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