Though it is almost never used in today’s NHL, the idea of an offer sheet still intrigues fans and media alike. Signing a restricted free agent out from under the nose of a rival, taking a superstar away in his prime. We’ve seen examples of offer sheets in the past, with Shea Weber signing a 14-year contract with Philadelphia in 2012, only to have it matched by Nashville. The Predators would have received four first-round picks had they let the then-26-year old Norris runner-up walk away.
Offer sheet compensation is based on the average salary of the league, and CapFriendly has released the final numbers for this summer. Below is the full breakdown, with the contract’s average annual value placing it in one of seven tiers:
|$1,339,575 or less||No compensation|
|$1,339,576 to $2,029,659||Third-round pick|
|$2,029,660 to $4,059,322||Second-round pick|
|$4,059,323 to $6,088,980||First and third-round picks|
|$6,088,981 to $8,118,641||First, second and third-round picks|
|$8,118,642 to $10,148,302||Two firsts, a second and third-round picks|
|Over $10,148,302||Four first-round picks|
It is important to note that any team trying to sign a player to an applicable offer sheet must use their own draft picks for compensation, not ones that have been acquired. That rules several teams out already from signing high profile RFAs, unless they were to work to reacquire their picks before submitting the contract.
Several players, including William Karlsson and Mark Stone are scheduled to become restricted free agents this summer and have generated offer sheet speculation. Though they don’t happen regularly, some people around the NHL believe that the day is coming when teams use the option more often. We’ll have to wait to find out if that begins this summer. For more information about the details of offer sheets, check out CapFriendly’s FAQ.