Blackhawks Present Qualifying Offer to Niemi, Ladd Awaits Word

Kyle WahlgrenCorrespondent IJune 26, 2010

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 18:  Andrew Ladd #16 of the Chicago Blackhawks looks on before taking on the San Jose Sharks in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 18, 2010 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The Chicago Blackhawks have officially sent a qualifying offer to their netminder, Antti Niemi.

With the offer deadline approaching for restricted free agents on July 1, the Hawks made the first step in retaining Antti Niemi.

While arbitration is likely, Niemi and his agent continue to look for a "cap-friendly," long-term extension.

The Chicago organization continues to search for ways to cut from the payroll.  With the deadline just around the corner, the question being asked is whether or not the Hawks will seek anything for Andrew Ladd?

Ladd, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, will become a free agent should the Hawks decide not to make an offer.

Those also classified as restricted free agents are Niklas Hjalmarsson and Jordan Hendry.  While Hjalmarsson waits, ESPN.com reports that the Hawks are on the verge of re-signing Hendry.

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