The NHL has updated the Offer Sheet compensations for 2018 which could be relevant if the Montreal Canadiens chose to make use of one.
Offer Sheets have become the new ‘Boy Who Cried Wolf’ in the NHL. The compensations are released every year, but no team chooses to make use of them even though there is top talent available. Many were hoping the Montreal Canadiens would throw one at Leon Draisaitl when he was still without a contract in Edmonton. However, the gentleman’s code came into effect, and Draisaitl remained an Oiler.
I’m still of the belief that if any general manager were to make Offer Sheets relevant again, it would be Marc Bergevin. I understand the sentiment in that it could rub other NHL executives the wrong way, but improving your team should always take precedent.
If the Habs want to use the tool, the compensations have been updated for 2018. The NHL has increased the minimum AAV required to get the most expensive payoff. Last year, a contract of at least $9,814,935 resulted in four first-round picks. That number is now $10,148,303.
The increase helps everyone in the league out by broadening the scope. For example, say the Montreal Canadiens chose to sign a player to a contract that would see them make $8 million per season. Last year’s compensation rules would have them give up two first, a second, and a third-round pick. It’s still a pricey ticket to pay, but the Habs save a first-round pick if they chose to do something similar now.
Not in the Arsenal
Offer sheets may not be on the horizon for the Montreal Canadiens though. The organization is at a crossroads where a playoff spot isn’t guaranteed. At the same time, focusing on drafting and developing young talent seems like the better option.
It would be unfortunate to see a Calgary Flames situation happen to Montreal. The Flames traded a first and two seconds for Thomas Hamonic at last year’s draft. At the time it seemed like a price that made sense for the organization, but a poor season had that first become eligible for the draft lottery.
Imagine the Montreal Canadiens offer sheet someone and pay a top compensation to only be in the same position next offseason. You would hope whoever is brought in turns things around quickly, but you never know.
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Top teams in the NHL can afford to take that risk right now, and the Habs aren’t in that grouping. But as I mentioned earlier, Bergevin could shock the fan base and pull it off. We’ll have to wait and see if an offer sheet was part of his grand plan for the summer.