Author: Jason Brough

Dougie Hamilton #27 of the Boston Bruins skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on April 10, 2013 in Newark, New Jersey. The Bruins defeated the Devils 5-4.
(April 9, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Let’s all remember why offer sheets are rarely signed


The last player to sign an offer sheet was Ryan O’Reilly in 2013.

The last offer sheet that wasn’t matched was the one Dustin Penner signed with Edmonton in 2007.

Yet despite how rarely offer sheets are signed, and how even more rare it is that they aren’t matched, there’s always speculation at this time of the year.

For example, TSN’s Darren Dreger went on the radio yesterday and wondered if Boston d-man Dougie Hamilton could be a worthwhile offer-sheet target.

“I think Boston would love to keep him,” Dreger told TSN 1050, per Today’s Slapshot. “But there’s a salary-cap issue, as we know, in Boston. And if you’re a rival team, why wouldn’t you try?”

And perhaps some team will try. Hamilton, 21, has the potential to be a cornerstone d-man in the NHL, and there aren’t many teams that win the Stanley Cup without one of those.

However, what a lot of people forget when it comes to offer sheets is that the player has to actually sign it. Which is to say, he has to be willing to leave his team for another. On top of that, he has to be willing to force his team’s hand, with the very real chance that the offer sheet will be matched and he’ll have to stay.

That’s not something that a lot of young players are willing to do. Even if it’s only business, relationships are important, and signing an offer sheet has serious potential to sully a player-club relationship. Lest we forget the relationship between O’Reilly and the Avs hasn’t always been 100-percent awesome.

Besides, no player wants to be accused of putting his own interests ahead of the team’s. Remember all the nice things Shea Weber had to say about Nashville after the Predators matched the Flyers’ massive offer sheet?

Another thing people forget is that a targeting team must possess the requisite draft picks to provide in compensation. Per Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, here’s what we’re looking at this year:


And as Friedman reminds us, “you can’t trade for any of these selections, they have to be your original choices.”

The Coyotes need to spend some money

2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

Remember a few years ago when the Florida Panthers were forced to go on a crazy spending spree in order to reach the cap floor?

As of right now, the Arizona Coyotes are looking like that Panthers team of 2015.

“We know we’ve got to make some moves,” Coyotes CEO Athony LeBlanc told Sportsnet recently. “We’ve got to pick up a player or two, we’ve got to add some veteran depth, and that’s going to cost some money.”

LeBlanc may be understating the situation. The Coyotes are currently well below the cap floor. On top of that, they don’t have any pending free agents, restricted or unrestricted, that are in line to get major raises. Mikkel Boedker, an RFA, is about the only one that comes to mind.

Of course, any GM can throw money around come July 1. That’s easy. The challenge Don Maloney will have is convincing worthwhile free agents to sign with the Coyotes, a team that’s not expected to be a playoff contender next season, not to mention a franchise that many (despite the commissioner’s insistence) remain convinced will be relocated in the near future.

Maloney’s best route to reaching the cap floor may be the trade avenue. With no shortage of teams needing to shed salary this offseason, the Coyotes could theoretically take advantage.

Related: After ‘unacceptable’ year, Doan thinks ‘urgency is going to be high’ in Arizona

Welcome to the trade rumor mill, Evgeni Malkin and Rick Nash

Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has heard from “people around the league” that Evgeni Malkin is unhappy in Pittsburgh and may welcome a change of scenery.

TSN/NBC insider Bob McKenzie believes the Rangers will at least discuss trading Rick Nash.

So, that’s pretty interesting, no?

Obviously, there are significant differences in each team’s situation, but the common denominator is financial pressure:

The Penguins have two of the highest cap hits in the league in Malkin and Sidney Crosby, plus they’ve got Kris Letang on a healthy contract as well. Another thing the Penguins have is a need to get better, and it’s tougher to do that without room under the cap.

The Rangers have a couple of big contracts of their own in Nash and Henrik Lundqvist. They also need to re-sign restricted free agent Derek Stepan this summer, then RFA Chris Kreider next summer.

Throw in the possibility that the salary cap remains at essentially the same level and the financial pressure only increases.

Anyway, enjoy those trade rumors!

Related: Friedman says Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin