The offer sheet option
The new compensation levels for signing restricted free agents (RFA) are in. Via HF Boards:
$994,433 or below – No compensation
Over $994,433 to $1,506,717 – 3rd round pick
Over $1,506,717 to $3,013,433 – 2nd round pick
Over $3,013,433 to $4,520,150 – 1st round pick and 3rd round pick
Over $4,520,150 to $6,026,867 – 1st round pick, 2nd round pick and 3rd round pick
Over $6,026,867 to $7,533,584 – Two 1st round picks, 2nd round pick and 3rd round pick
Over $7,533,584 – Four 1st round picks
Because these compensation levels are based on average player salaries, unlike the salary cap which is based on league revenues, they can move from year-to-year even if revenues (and thus, the cap) stay flat.
Before Canucks fans start salivating at the thought of sending an offer sheet to Cam Barker, Phil Kessel, Jiri Hudler and Ryan Clowe – all of whom play for teams that are close to the cap – I should mention now that the Canucks don’t have their 2nd round pick for next season. They traded it to Buffalo (along with a 2009 3rd round pick) for Steve Bernier. What this means is that unless the offer sheet for these players is under $1,506,717 or greater than $3,013,433, then it’s simply not possible to acquire them. I doubt they sign for under the lower amount; and if they sign for the higher amount then the compensation starts to include multiple draft picks (and even multiple 1st round draft picks). Dollar-wise, these players may well be worth what they get; but are they worth losing draft picks as well?