That dreaded word for many teams has crept up again – the Calgary Flames broke the impasse today between Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche by signing the center to an offer sheet worth an average of five million dollars over two years.
The Avalanche now have seven days to either match the offer, or let the holdout join a division rival. The offer sheet is worth a first round and a third round draft pick.
The question is – is it worth it for the Calgary Flames to step outside the box and make this move? Historically speaking offer sheets are rarely successful. The Flames may have only helped the Avalanche is getting one of their players back on the ice.
More and more we are seeing teams utilize the offer sheet to try and pry a restricted free agent from the team that holds their rights. Should this be a tactic the Buffalo Sabres start employing? With salary caps and floors being an issue in many NHL cities – more offer sheets only leads to the fact that at some point, someone is going to say enough is enough and just not match the offer.
While the O’Reilly deal doesn’t seem like a major move, in fact in pails in comparison to the Thomas Vanek offer sheet or the Shea Weber even, but its a tactic that the Calgary Flames are hoping will bring a number one center into their organization, without the need to trade away NHL pieces or develop one from within.
Maybe the Buffalo Sabres should start considering it a trade instead of an offer sheet? I mean, realistically that is what you are doing, trading future assets – and it takes away the messy part of negotiating a contract – as that is part of the process.
For the Buffalo Sabres – a team who relies heavily on their internal development process (how well has that worked out for us? Hell we are even trying it with our coaches now) – giving up draft picks isn’t really a reality.
Thinking outside the box might just save a job in Buffalo – and might inspire hope around the locker room that something is being done other than waiting for the current group of players to get the job done.
The Buffalo Sabres have lost out on another offer sheet ability. It is rare that these opportunities come up inside a season – but this one was ripe for the picking. Darcy could have made a similar offer for Ryan O’Reilly. If Colorado doesn’t match, then you instantly have a player that brings another dynamic to your team, in a position you are desperate to fill. If they do match it, you don’t lose anything, but you might gain some ground in the fact that the target now rests squarely on your shoulders to try and do something, now that the coach has been removed from the equation of why this team is playing so poorly.
Will the culture in Buffalo ever change – or we will rely on the same players year in and year out to finish the job?