With NHL training camps getting under way, and the Habs and Canes once again providing more offseason content than the rest of the league combined, we can finally circle back to one of our intrepid editor’s favourite subjects: Offer Sheets. Nearly as rare as a Leafs post season run (and usually as successful) this is a weapon under the CBA that players and GM’s alike can take advantage of, yet so many are reluctant. Why? Well, as we’ve seen with Montreal and Carolina, you risk putting out an offer that’s easily matched than instantly looking foolish, (not to mention the compensation) and subsequently putting the cross hairs straight on your own RFA’s.
The Hurricanes did essentially everything but take out ad space at the Bell Centre to antagonize Les Glorieux and their fan base, which, while it makes for an all time petty move, and great podcast fodder, from a business perspective… That said, whatever you think of the Kotkaniemi deal, or internal politics of the league, with the salary cap likely remaining flat for the next several seasons and an incredible crop of young talent entering RFA status; here’s a look at some other potential offer sheets that make sense for the teams, or are simply entertaining to think about.
Brady Tkachuk – Calgary
All the talk in Sens nation after last season’s impressive finish, and another dismal year in Calgary, was what would it take to get Matthew Tkachuck to Ottawa to play with his brother? Sens fans were convinced he’d want to be part of such a fun, talented, up and coming young squad, parsing every interaction when they played, dreaming of having the most irritating tandem the league’s seen since Goodenow and Bettman locked horns. But what better way to flip the script than Brad Treliving going full heel and targeting the, shall we say ‘cash conscious’, ownership in the nation’s capital. He likely has few cards left to play, so instead of questions about trading Johnny Hockey, or Sean Monahan, wondering if they spent too much on Markstrom, or what to do with the blue line after losing their captain, this would instantly help appease the Alberta fan base and give the Flames an incredible one two punch…perhaps too literally.
Elias Pettersson – Boston
With the Bruins core not getting any younger they need an heir apparent to the perfection line. Patrice Bergeron still has some years left, so imagine having this phenomenal one two punch and a mentor for an incredibly gifted, young up and coming star in such an integral market. Sure, Jack Eichel is probably priority one (two, and three) for the B’s, and the animosity has long ago died down since they defeated the Sedin led Canucks to win the Cup a decade ago, so if they want to get things going again, Boston’s search for their next number one centre may need look no further. Let’s just hope it involves less rioting…
Quinn Hughes – New Jersey
Like the Hanson Brothers before them, it would just make sense to see them together, and given their age, it’d surprise no one if they also bring their toys…While they may not be as physically intimidating, they all possess an incredible skill set, and with the addition of Dougie Hamilton and P.K. Subban perhaps likely to move on after this season, he’d be a solid contributor to an improving blue line and developing young core. One would imagine there would be instant familiarity and a comfort level no one else could offer. The glory days of Martin Brodeur, Scott Niedermayer and David Puddy have long since past and with the rival Rangers rebuild vaulting ahead of theirs, this would be a great way to catch up and send a message to the rest of the division as well.
Rasmus Dahlin – Dallas
The Stars have tried to add to the blue line over the last number of years, whether it was Erik Karlsson or Alex Pietrangelo. They brought in Ryan Suter on a reasonable (if lengthy) deal, but if they wanted to make a real splash, what better way? This of course harkens (way) back to when Buffalo was respectable on and off the ice, a time before Rasmus was even born. The 1999 cup Final may seem like an eternity ago to those in upstate New York, but Sabres fans will never forget the infamous ending and subsequent debate. Now with Hasek long gone and Brett Hull’s blood alcohol level akin to his save percentage, why not rekindle the animosity? With fellow Swede John Klingberg entering the last year of his deal, and rumoured to be on the move, what better way to replace him? Thus forming on of the best one tow punches in the league along with Miro Heiskanen. The Stars are in win now mode and this could put them over the top, only furthering the agony along Lake Erie.