The Associated Press’s Larry Lage posted a story in which several restricted free agent players and player agents discuss what the ramifications of the Sebastian Aho offer sheet might be. A certain Steve Yzerman weighs in as well:
“The way the system is set up with offer sheets, it’s too punitive because of the draft picks you have to give up,” said sports agent Kurt Overhardt, who represents Trouba. “The record has shown it doesn’t make sense for a lot of teams. Montreal took a chance, forcing a notoriously frugal owner to make a decision and he matched. But as long as you have the cap space, you have to match.”
If Carolina chose not to match the offer for Aho, the Canadiens would have given up a draft pick in the first, second and third rounds. If Montreal offered a little more money on the offer sheet, it risked losing an additional first-round selection. And if the franchise offered Aho an average of at least $10,568,590 over the course of the contract, it would have lost four first-round picks if the Hurricanes refused to pay Aho that much.
Agents of restricted free agents attempt to use the possibility of offer sheets in negotiations. Teams, meanwhile, know offer sheets are extremely uncommon and they seem to have the power in talks. That is true particularly when players don’t have arbitration rights.
“As an RFA you just want to be paid what you feel your value is and the offer sheet is one of a few points of leverage you can use,” Winnipeg Jets center Andrew Copp said. “It’s more important to have arbitration rights, but you only have so many options as a restricted player so it can be frustrating not being able to use one of your options.”
Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman said it’s tough to predict if Montreal’s move would be made by another team this summer.
“There’s obviously several very high-profile, very good, young players out there,” Yzerman said. “If this is a trend, I really don’t know. I’m curious to see how it plays out.”