Why Not Submit An Offer Sheet?


Over the past few years teams making offer sheets has become a bit of a taboo. But personally I do not understand why. Hockey is a business, as much as you want to establish relationships with other GM’s you need to do whatever it takes to make your team the best. Are you in this business to please your fans or the other General Managers? 

While yes their was a quote from a General Manager a few years ago stating “If a GM offer sheets one of my players, I will offer sheet one of his players every year” which Is still unknown who said it, but sometimes this risk must be taken.

For example right now, the league knows a certain team is going to be tight for cap space in the next two years with their RFA’s and the major free agent signing they made this offseason. The Toronto Maple Leafs currently have right winger William Nylander RFA unsigned and next year they will need to sign Mathews and Marner as well. 

So tell me, why would a team like the Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks or the Arizona Coyotes make an offer sheet for him?  We can easily say that Nylander is in the range of 6-8mil per season which will mean that teams will need to have 1st, 2nd& 3rdround pick to make this happen. Which all these teams do, and something else all these teams have is a LOT of cap space. Nylander is still only 22 years old, so its not as if you are giving up draft picks for a veteran, so this case will not affect any teams in a rebuild. Did I also mention that this 22 year old is coming off of back-to-back 61-point seasons? Pretty good I would say.  

But just because an offer sheet is made does not mean the player will sign it, and if he does, the team who owns his rights has the ability to match the offer, so again, why would you not make this offer to at the bare minimum, affect the Maple Leafs ability to dictate the negotiations on their terms. For example, the Leafs may want Nylander at 6 mil per year, while the Canadiens are willing to offer him 7.5, Nylander signing this is guaranteeing him 7.5mil per year and if the Leafs choose to match the offer then he gets his money, and the Canadiens atleast made the Leafs use more of their cap hit than they hoped.

Over the past few years their has been a few offer sheets signed but most end up being matched, O’Reilly, Weber & Hjalmarsson being the last 3. 

While O’Reillys and Hjalmarssons were atleast for 2 & 4 years, Weber’s on the other hand was for 14 long years, which Nashville was forced to match to keep their young star captain, which certainly hurt their ability to sign other players (at the time). 

So I ask again … why not submit an offer sheet?