Offer sheets on restricted free agents may be the rarest of rarities in the National Hockey League, but that’s a trend that may begin to change as early as next summer.
One general manager alluded to the possibility in a very recent chat with Elliotte Friedman, which the NHL Insider shared during a Thursday afternoon radio hit on Edmonton’s 630 CHED.
The entry point of this part of the conversation involved Friedman being asked if he was surprised at the general lack of term given out to players during free agency this year.
“I was surprised. Maybe I shouldn’t have been,” said Friedman. “But I was surprised because on July 1, generally, teams haven’t had a lot of restraint.
“It’s interesting to me. Alzner got five. Radulov got five. But look at the guys who got the longest terms. They were the guys who were re-signed. Vlasic got eight. Fowler got eight. Jones got what – six? And those, I believe, were also the three richest deals. Vlasic got $56 million. Fowler got 51. And Jones was just under 36. He was about 34-something. And so not only were those the longest deals, but they were the richest deals.
“I will tell you, I have a pretty interesting conversation with one GM after it’s over. I specifically asked him about Draisaitl. He said he didn’t think so. But he thinks the offer sheets are coming. Maybe not this year, but maybe in a year or two.
“And the reason he thinks so is because the quality of free agents are getting lower and lower every year. Guys are re-signing. They’re taking their term and they’re re-signing. How many big guys hit the market now. And I mean we’ve got a big one next year potentially in Tavares. But you look at it – Vlasic is gone. Fowler is gone. Price is gone. Stamkos went last year. McDavid now you know he’s signed for eight years.
“He’s saying we’re getting less and less on the big free agent stars. He thinks the day is coming where we’re going to see a big-time offer sheet.”
With some attractive names on this years Restricted Free Agent list, attached is the 2017 chart for Offer Sheet compensation based on AAV. pic.twitter.com/k3SX5B5dnU
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) June 29, 2017