The Edmonton Oilers Need To Be Worried About An Offer Sheet

Puljujarvi and Yamamoto Celebrate Goal. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)
Puljujarvi and Yamamoto Celebrate Goal. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

This coming offseason the Edmonton Oilers have several free agents that they will need to re-sign. Of the free agents there are several restricted free agents (RFA’s). The RFA’s include Ryan McLeod, Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi.

RFA’s are different than unrestricted free agents (UFA’s) because the RFA’s are still under the team’s control while UFA’s can sign anywhere they want to. With that in mind there is a way for an opposing team to sign an RFA and that is with an offer sheet.

An offer sheet is a contract that is offered to the player from another team. If the player agrees to the terms of that contract then the offer sheet is complete. That player doesn’t automatically go to that team though like they would if they were an UFA. The team that owns the player has a chance to match the offer.

For example team A does an offer sheet for McLeod for a 3 year contract for 3 million and McLeod accepts this. The Edmonton Oilers would have the opportunity to match it and keep their player. Things get interesting when the team doesn’t decide to match it.

If the team lets the player go the team who originally owned the player doesn’t lose them for nothing. There is compensation that goes back that team in the form of draft picks. The quality and quantity of these picks vary on the AAV of the contract signed. All these numbers are pulled from CapFriendly.

$1 – $1,386,490

No Compensation

$1,386,491- $2,100,742

1 Third Round Pick

$2,100,743- $4,201,488

1 Second Round Pick

$4,201,489 – $6,302,230

1 First Round Pick
1 Third Round Pick

$6,302,231 – $8,402,975

1 First Round Pick
1 Second Round Pick
1 Third Round Pick

$8,402,976 – $10,503,720

2 First Round Picks
1 Second Round Pick
1 Third Round Pick

$10,503,721 – ∞

4 First Round Picks

Why Should This Scare The Edmonton Oilers?

The reason this should scare the Edmonton Oilers is if an opposing team would get any of the RFA’s a contract that is a higher cap hit than normal, then the Oilers may lose out on a good young player due to cap constraints.

For example, if a team was to offer $4,201,488 for Jesse Puljujarvi and he was to accept it, the Oilers would have to match or lose the player. The Edmonton Oilers likely will not be able to afford that cap hit for Puljujarvi.

So basically the opposing team would get the former fourth overall draft pick for a second round draft pick. Which is a sweet deal for them.

The fact the Edmonton Oilers are so close to the cap ceiling and having many players to re-sign opens them up for an offer sheet attack. I don’t know a reason why a team wouldn’t go after either Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujarvi.

These two players are good young players who have found a spot in the Edmonton Oilers top 6. If a team could get them for a 2nd round pick not only would it help their team out, but it would hurt the Edmonton Oilers.

Sign Them Sooner Rather Than Later

The only for sure way to make sure a team doesn’t offer sheet one of your young players is to get them under contract again. For this reason I hope that Ken Holland is talking to the RFA’s agents. The longer it drags on the more time for a team has to offer sheet the player.

I hope to see all the RFAs return next season. If one does need to be moved on from I hope it isn’t from an offer sheet. In my opinion I think that both Yamamoto and Puljujarvi are worth more than a 2nd rounder.

Losing anyone to an offer sheet would be a worst case scenario.

Next. An Early Look At 5 Free Agents The Edmonton Oilers Should Sign. dark