With a limited pool of quality unrestricted free agents this year and quite a few impressive names among restricted free agents available, one has to wonder whether this might be the year that a team makes an attempt to pry away one of them with an offer sheet.
Sure, no team has used an offer sheet since 2013 when the Calgary Flames attempted to sign center Ryan O’Reilly away from the Colorado Avalanche. It didn’t work and since then, there hasn’t been one. Yet with names like Noah Hanifin, Dylan Larkin and William Nylander still available, you would think a team might attempt to go the offer-sheet route.
However, Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that won’t be happening this year, if again. The scribe informally polled nine general managers, who all collectively said there would be no offer sheets handed out this summer. One reason is that general managers see it as a way to drive up salaries, which they don’t want, and since almost all offer sheets are matched, then what would be the point? Custance adds that the compensation for offer sheets must be changed, so teams might be more willing to let a player go.
- Chris Ryan of nj.com analyzes the success of Hart Trophy winners the following year they won, as he wonders how New Jersey Devils Taylor Hall will respond next season after winning the Hart Trophy with a 39-goal and 93-point season. While most of the previous winners (going all the way back to the 2006 season) saw a decline in their play the following year, most of them still put up solid numbers and still were in the voting for the Hart Trophy the following year, even if they didn’t win it. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid finished fifth in the voting the following year, while 2016 Hart Trophy winner Patrick Kane finished sixth the next season.
- Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that former Boston Bruins defenseman Rob O’Gara, who was traded at the trade deadline to the New York Rangers as part of the Nick Holden trade felt the trade was bittersweet. The 25-year-old blueliner was still on his entry-level contract and had only played 11 NHL games before the trade, but the four-year Yale University product had already lost some faith in him. In a league where youth thrives, O’Gara had already run out of time as he failed to crack Boston’s rotation and was often passed over for promotion by younger defenseman. In New York, however, he got a legitimate chance to take on a more permanent role, as he played in 22 games, a role he hopes to hold onto this season.