Every single off-season media and fans fantasize about offer sheets. Although Marc Bergervin gave us a ton of excitement last off season offer sheeting Sebastian Aho, offer sheets are still unicorns. Over the last couple months I have read posts, articles and tweets suggesting the Wings offer sheet one of the big RFAs this off-season, Matt Barzal or Mikhail Sergachev. While this makes sense from the perspective that the Islanders or the Lightning would have difficulty matching offers given their cap situations. As fun as this would be it just doesn't make sense based on where the Wings are in the rebuilding process. Especially, considering the valuable picks it would cost at this stage in the rebuild. Sergachev would likely cost a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Barzal a kings ransom, two 1sts, 2nd, 3rd. Certainty, adding either to the Wings roster makes them a better team next season, but neither propel the Wings out of the basement. The 2021 1st especially, is just too valuable, likely a top 5 pick. In short neither of these players make the Wings contenders next year, there are simply too many holes in the roster. I have decided to run through some RFA options that would make sense for Detroit without giving up significant draft capital. The options I have laid out below are based on three factors; if the player going to match up when the wings are contenders, the max asset given up is a second round pick, and that it would be difficult for the team who owns rights to match.
1.) Roope Hintz 4.1 million
His projected cap hit according to Dobber prospects would be about 4.1 million so the required compensation is a second round pick. Hintz is only 23 years old and has become a two way force under Rick Bowness in Dallas and he fits a direct positional as a center. Lastly, the Stars have 13.9 million dollars in cap space and have Radek Faksa, Dennis Gurianov, Corey Perry. Mattias Janmark and they have strong interest in resigning Anton Khudobin.
2) Tyson Jost 3.4 million
Jost's projected cap hit according to Dobber prospects is very stomach-able, the idea of offer sheeting him would be contingent on the Wings belief that Jost could play center. Jost is highly skilled player who just hasn't found his game yet in the NHL a change of scenery could be just what he needs. The compensation for this cap hit would be a second round pick, which the Wings have three of for the 2021 draft. Colorado currently has 22 million dollars in cap space, but still need to sign, Andre Burakovsky, Valeri Nichuskin, Ryan Graves, Nikita Zadorov, Vladislav Kamenev and have some decisions to make with some UFAs as well in Vladislav Namestnikov, and Matt Nieto. On the surface with 22 million in space they could probably get all these deals done, but with Cale Makars entry level expiring next year they are going to need every dime of it. I have to think to with this young team entering their window to win with Nathan Mackinnon on a sweet heart deal for the next three years, do they really want to want to come back with the same roster? Would they potentially want to add a Taylor Hall or another asset through trade?
3) Travis Dermott 2.7 million
Dermott's projected cap hit would again cost the Wings a second round pick. Dermott is solid puck moving defenseman with high compete and injuries have stifled his development. He is also a left shot, which is relatively bare in the system. Toronto is also in cap hell with only 5 million in space and they badly need to upgrade their blue line, with talk of them pursuing Pietrangelo. Which they will have to clear a couple more roster players to do so.They still have Ilya MIkheyev to sign who is coming off a nice rookie season and is a good complementary player who adds size upfront.
In general with the flat cap, I don't expect to see any offer sheets this summer. In this climate where teams are up against the cap for the next few seasons, an offer sheet could sour a relationship with another GM more than it normally would. Or maybe it's possible we see more offer sheets because GM's will have difficulty matching, who knows we will find out Friday what the market for RFA's bares. The common thread with all the RFA's I propose above is none cost a first round pick, which for the Wings at this time could very well be the first overall! As much as it sucks to admit this team will not be competing for a playoff spot next season and adding a Barzal or Sergachev will not change that. I do however, believe we will see a lot more trades involving over valued contracts for picks and prospects and ultimately hope that's what Stevie continues to do after the Marc Staal trade. Taking on these contracts and adding assets is the smartest way to flex cap space at this time.