Fans across the National Hockey League have to wonder: with fewer big players hitting the free agent market, what is the future of offer sheets in the NHL? Why aren't there more?
But when Vancouver Canucks fans are going to find out that their local team missed out on two superstars, BC born stars, the questions are going to get even louder. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman recalls two different times that the Canucks could have landed a great forward with an offer sheet, but decided not to push through.
As he explains on his latest 31 Thoughts podcast on Sportsnet:
"When Mike Gillis was running the team, there were a couple, and Jamie Benn was one of them. And they were going to give him a one-year deal, I think it was at $7 or 7,5 millions. And because at that time he was a restricted free agent, it was going to be the gift that kept on giving," Friedman recalls.
"But at the end of the day, they decided not to do it."
And the Canucks did it again when they considered offering a BC native sniper in the past few years. Friedman goes on:
"I know they also met with Evander Kane, before Kane signed the six-year deal. That was another guy that was in their offices and they talked to him about doing it. But they decided not to do it.
I feel like a lot of teams felt that after the Shea Weber one was matched by Nashville, I remember guys tell me that after that one got matched there was no point in ever doing an offer sheet. If that one is going to get matched, none of them are ever going to be unmatched."
However, Friedman believes it is inevitable that more offer sheets are on the horizon across the NHL, but probably with another strategy.
"I believe that with less and less players hitting the market, we will see some more."
We can bet NHL fans, especially the ones in Vancouver, will keep an eye out!