5 NHL Restricted Free Agents Teams Should Target With An Offer Sheet | Launderer’s report
0 out of 5
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The 2022 NHL Signing Period for Restricted and Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) begin July 13. Fans and pundits will focus on the destinations of top UFA talent, but notable restricted free agents (RFAs) could also switch teams via offer sheets.
In this scenario, a rival club panels RFA of another player to the main terms of a contract, including duration and compensation. The player must give his team advance notice of the deal, giving them seven days to match the deal. If the team refuses, the player then joins his new club and his old team receives a predetermined number of draft picks as compensation based on the financial terms of the offer sheet.
Offer sheets are rarely signed because they are often matched, but there have been two recent cases with opposite results.
The most recent saw the Carolina Hurricanes sign Jesperi Kotkaniemi left the Montreal Canadiens last August on a one-year, $6.1 million contract. The other happened in July 2019 when the Hurricanes matched a five-year, $42.27 million offer sheet. sign by Sebastian Aho with the Canadians.
There are still several months until the start of the free agent period, and it is unclear which teams could go down the offer sheet route. Still, signing Kotkaniemi might inspire an enterprising GM with plenty of salary cap space to consider the option if he can’t find what he’s looking for in the trades or in the UFA market.
A number of talented players are expected to become FRG this summer. Most will probably re-sign. A handful, like Brock Boeser of the Vancouver Canucks, could be tempting targets for the offer sheet, especially with next season’s salary set to barely increase. $1 million at $82.5 million.
Here’s a look at five restricted free agents who could receive offer sheets after the free agent market begins and why they might be targeted.
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A gifted offensive end, Brock Boeser had an immediate positive effect on the Vancouver Canucks since joining them for nine games at the end of the 2016-17 season. Although injuries have limited him to playing just one full season in the NHL, the 24-year-old’s stick-handling skills and lethal shooting could attract attention this summer from rival clubs in need of a scorer. first line.
Including his rookie campaign in 2017-18, Boeser eclipsed the 20-goal plateau three times and scored 45+ points on four occasions. He led the Canucks in scoring when he finished second in Calder’s vote and in 2020-21. With 11 goals and 22 points in 37 games, he is fifth among their points leaders this season. It is also their boss in total goals (105), assists (122) and points (227) since his rookie campaign.
Boeser completes a three-year contract, which includes a $5.88 million average annual value and arbitration fees this summer. He’s making $7.5 million in actual salary this season, so it’ll cost the Canucks that much just to keep the right to match an offer sheet. He could ask for a substantial raise after teammates Elias Pettersson ($7.35 million AAV for three years) and Quinn Hughes (six years, $7.85 million AAV) signed lucrative contracts last summer.
The Canucks, however, invested $71.4 million in just 13 players for 2022-23. They are also under new management this season, and that front office might have different ideas about Boeser’s value. Re-signing will prove difficult unless they can free up enough ceiling space. A rival GM could try to snatch him away with a multi-year deal worth more than $8.5 million a year.
2 out of 5
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Acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets in a trade last January, Pierre-Luc Dubois battled injuries and time in COVID-19 protocols during his first season with the Winnipeg Jets. Healthy and fit for his new club, the 23-year-old striker has found his form, sitting in second place among his teammates with 18 goals and 31 points in 40 games.
A big, versatile forward who can play center or wing, the 6’2″, 205-pound Dubois was selected third overall by the Blue Jackets in the 2016 NHL Draft. He established himself as a a two-way player with solid offensive skills, totaling at least 48 points in each of his first three NHL seasons, including a career-high 61 in 2018-19, he could reach 50 points before the end of this season.
Dubois’ skills make him a valuable addition to the Jets. Re-signing it, however, could be expensive. He is in the last season of a two-year contract is worth an annual cap of $5 million and carries arbitration rights this summer. Signing him to a long-term extension could cost at least $7 million a year.
The Jets have $71.5 million tied up in 11 players for 2022-23, although they will get $5.3 million in cap relief if Bryan Little remains on reserve for long-term injuries. Even then, an enterprising rival GM could test the Jets’ ability to pay Dubois with an expensive offer sheet.
3 out of 5
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Mario Ferraro isn’t as well-known as his teammates Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns, but the 23-year-old San Jose Sharks defenseman has become a valuable part of their blueline team during his three NHL seasons. He could also become an intriguing offer sheet option, depending on the Sharks’ salary cap situation for 2022-23.
Ferraro skates alongside Burns on the Sharks best defense couple, second in the club with an average ice time of 23 minutes and 54 seconds. This includes a leading team 2:33 shorthanded ice time per game. The 6-foot, 209-pound player leads the Sharks in hits (89) and blocked shots (109) and is among their takeout leaders with 22. With 11 points in 40 games, he’s on course to top 20 points for the first time.
In the final season of a three-year series, $3.41 million contract, Ferraro should be an affordable re-signing for the Sharks. With $61m invested in 12 players next season, they would have enough space even if they re-sign UFA Tomas Hertl for around $8m a year.
That cap space, however, could shrink if a referee rules against the Sharks in Evander Kane’s grievance over his contract termination. That could make Ferraro an inviting option for clubs looking for a big minute defender. Anything over $5 million a year on a long-term deal could then become difficult for the Sharks to match.
4 out of 5
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A sixth-round pick (166th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, Andrew Mangiapane has blossomed over the past three seasons to become a versatile base forward for the Calgary Flames. The 25-year-old winger could also become a target for offers this summer.
Capable of playing on both wings, Mangiapane grabbed attention in 2019-20 by scoring 17 goals and 32 points in 68 games. He followed up last season with another 32-point campaign, including a career-high 18 goals, in 56 games. Now in his contract year, he’s already surpassed that career high with 19 goals and 24 points in just 39 games.
Mangiapane raised the Flames’ Depth Chart, skating this season as a second-line winger. He is third among the Flames in total goals with 54 since 2019-20. This improvement secures him a big boost from the average annual value of $2.43 million he earns. since last season.
The Flames invested $50.2 million in 11 players next season but also stars such as Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau to re-sign. It could cost a combined annual cap of $20 million to keep them, which would eat up a lot of the Flames’ cap space. There would be little room to match a lucrative offer for Mangiapane of more than $5.5 million a year on a multi-year deal.
5 out of 5
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In his second full season in the NHL, Josh Norris has established himself as a reliable front-line center with the rebuilding Ottawa Senators. The 22-year-old’s offensive skills have quickly made him a valuable part of their core, but could also make him attractive to compete with general managers this summer in the free agent market.
Norris had a strong performance as a rookie in 2020-21 with 17 goals and 35 points, finishing third among Senators scorers and third among all NHL rookies. He’s had an even better second campaign, leading the Senators with 18 goals and third with 26 points in 36 games.
This steady development should put Norris in line for a significant pay rise this summer. He is completing a three-year internship entry contract worth $925,000 per season. With $52.2 million committed to just eight players for 2022-23, the Senators have plenty of room to pay him a big raise.
However, the Senators have maintained their payroll at $70.7 million this season. With club revenues likely to be impacted by recent provincial seating capacity limitations due to COVID-19, team owner Eugene Melnyk could keep his payroll well below the club’s cap. next season. That could prompt a rival club to dangle a sizable offer sheet in excess of $5 million a year to Norris to see if the Senators will match him.