Admittedly, the chances of an NHL offer sheet happening this summer, or anytime soon, is slim. That doesn’t mean GMs will ignore offer sheets as a tool for negotiating with players or getting other teams to make hasty decisions on their own assets. Case in point, Patrick Johnston of The Province wonders if the Vancouver Canucks might have something to worry about when it comes to forward Elias Pettersson.
Johnston wonders if a rival club will consider an attempt to sign Pettersson to an offer sheet this offseason. Specifically, he looks at the Seattle Kraken and an organization that has all sorts of salary cap room to make a splash heading into their inaugural season.
Pettersson is a 22-year-old dynamic forward who isn’t having his best season and has been placed on LTIR this season. Still, he’s viewed by many as a building block for a franchise and there would be plenty of interested parties if he were ever to become available out of Vancouver. The Canucks will try to lock up Pettersson this season, but the Kraken might be closely watching this situation to see if a small window opens up.
But if you’re Seattle, you really should think about it. Throw a huge offer, one that, given the Canucks’ cap constraints, would make it very hard to match. Heck, if you’re Montreal, maybe you should think about it too. The Habs do have cap space and Marc Bergevin and Pat Brisson do have a long standing relationship.
Bergevin did Brisson, one of his oldest friends, a big favour two years ago in offer sheeting Sebastian Aho. Maybe he’d do it again?
A Unique Situation Seattle Is In
While the Canadiens making an offer seems like a bit of a reach considering their cap situation, the Kraken scenario is intriguing. Would a team looking to make some noise this offseason be enticed to do so in an unorthodox manner? They’ll need to weigh how that looks to 31 other general managers, but if there’s a sense they could actually land an impact player like Pettersson, and on a long-term contract that Vancouver can’t afford, it’s a strategy.
Even more, just the threat of an offer sheet by Seattle could open the door for the Canucks and Kraken to work a bit of additional business. Whether that’s Seattle saying, ‘We want this so we don’t look at Pettersson’ or some other kind of side deal, the NHL’s newest franchise is in an enviable position.
All of this is, of course, a long shot. There’s always a lot of talk around offer sheets by rarely any action. But, the expansion draft adds a wrinkle to this year’s marketplace that hasn’t been there since Vegas joined the league and the Golden Knights made a lot of side deals before and after making their selections.