Sunday, August 8, 2010

Offer Sheets Are Very Very Rare!!

A lot of NYRangers fans have become increasingly worried about Marc Staal and his contract negotiations.  The talk that maybe some team will drop an offer sheet on him has been pushed around as a reason why we should get this deal over with.  While I agree that we should hurry this process up and get Staal locked up for at least the next two seasons, an offer sheet is not one of those reasons.

If Staal does get an offer sheet, I can't see Sather not matching it unless it is upwards of $7M and if it is then the Rangers will get a boatload of picks in compensation.  For any offer sheet above $7.7M, the team will receive four first round draft picks.  This is the main reason we do not see offer sheets as often because teams could get screwed into giving up a lot of compensation.  But they know that going in and are aware of the risk.

Join me after this for more on offer sheets and the Rangers history.......

Since the lockout in 2004-05 there have only been six offer sheets made.  Five out of those six were matched.  Only one was accepted and in 2007 Dustin Penner went from the Anaheim Ducks to the Edmonton Oilers for a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick in the 2008 Draft.  The deal was at 5 years and $21.5M.  The Oilers had made an offer on Sabres RFA Thomas Vanek three weeks earlier for 7 years and $50M.  Only one offer sheet has been offered since the 2008 offseason, the Sharks offered Niklas Hjalmarsson 4 years and $14M in 2010 but the Chicago Blackhawks matched.  Here is a list of Offer Sheets since the lockout:

2006: Ryan Kesler-VAN- 1yr/$1.9M by Flyers-Matched by VAN
2007: Thomas Vanek-BUF- 7yrs/$50M by Oilers- Matched by Sabres
2007: Dustin Penner-ANA- 5yrs/$21.5M by Oilers- Accepted for 1st,2nd and 3rd round picks in 2008
2008: David Backes-STL- 3yrs/$7.5M by Canucks- Matched by Blues
2008: Steve Bernier-VAN- 1yr/$2.5M by Blues- Matched by Canucks
2010: Niklas Hjalmarsson-CHI- 4yrs/$14M by Sharks- Matched by Blackhawks

The last offer sheet before the lockout was in 1998 when the Carolina Hurricanes tried to bring a big star into there new city by placing an offer sheet on Red Wings star Sergei Fedorov but the Wings matched it.  There were 27 offer sheets made between 1985 and 1998 and 15 of those were matched by the players current team.  Back in those days teams would place smaller offer sheets on teams younger players hoping to steal them away from teams who were not in great financial situations.  Some teams use offer sheets as a way to drive up the price on current RFA's but that could easily backfire if the team does not match and it also hurts the relationship between GM's.

The Rangers themselves have been involved in some of the biggest offer sheets in history.  In 1991 they signed Adam Graves to a 5 year offer sheet.  Graves would be a pivotal player in the Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup winning season and would go on to be a fan favorite for years to come.  They also made a 3 year $21M offer to Joe Sakic back in 1997.  It seemed like he was a Ranger but then the Colorado Avalanche in a very surprising move decided to match the offer.  Sakic would go on to finish his great career with Colorado.  This move drove the free agent price up in the NHL. 

Now with the Salary Cap in place offer sheets are very unlikely and rare.  With the Cap in place most teams do not have the money to place an offer down that will drive the current team away.  If they make the price to high not only will they most likely have cap issues because of it but they will have to give up crazy amounts of compensation because of it.  Here is the current RFA offer sheet compensation straight from


1) $1,020,348 or below... None
2) Over $1,020,348 to $1,545,981... Third-round choice
3) Over $1,545,981 to $3,091,963... Second-round choice
4) Over $3,091,963 to $4,637,944... First-round and third-round choice
5) Over $4,637,944 to $6,183,925... First-round, second-round and third-round choice
6) Over $6,183,925 to $7,729,907... Two first-round choices, one second- and one third-round choice
7) Over $7,729,907... Four first-round choices

So in the end either the Rangers will get great compensation for a Staal offer sheet or the contract will be to low and they will easily be able to match. 

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