Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Offer sheets: there's no point

Though Jamie Benn and PK Subban have signed, Ryan O'Reilly remains unsigned and discussion remains as to why no one has dropped an offer sheet on him yet.

It's important to think back to a quote from last week's 30 Thoughts column by Elliotte Friedman:

As one GM (not one quoted elsewhere in this blog) said: "If Nashville is going to match that offer to Shea Weber, what the [bleep's] the point of  doing one?"

There is basically no point. Though there are plenty of teams that would like to add a guy like O'Reilly, even if you offer him a multi-year deal at $5m per - I've gotta think Colorado matches. How high would you have to go to get Colorado to let him go? $6m? More? At that point, you're giving up a stack of first-rounders for a guy who's certainly an excellent player, but I don't think anyone's confusing him with Anze Kopitar. He's not a superstar.

I advocated for someone signing Michael Del Zotto to an offer sheet on this blog a couple weeks ago, and now I'm pulling back off that opinion. Yes, these guys should be getting paid more. But there's no GM who's going to want to stick his hand in that beehive because he's not going to come out with the player. Instead, he's just going to force the player's team to match.

What's worse, he then faces the problem of a 'revenge' offer sheet from the other side. Where this is a real threat or not is a question, but you can bet it's going to cause a lot of stress when it comes time to re-sign his own RFAs. Much more real is the fact that he's going to have his own players asking "you think Player X is worth $Y; why are you offering me this shit contract?" It's all a lot of headache for a very small chance of reward.

If GMs aren't colluding (and I really don't think they are), they're going to worry about their own team first. If Ryan O'Reilly is getting lowballed in Colorado - that isn't Dave Nonis or Mike Gillis or anyone else's problem. Their job is not to set a market rate, or force other teams to pay up; they're worrying about their own team first, and if Colorado is losing games in the meantime without a top-line player, all the better.

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