RFA offersheet opportunities

By , March 13, 2011 1:57 pm

Offer sheet target #1: Shea Weber

Offer sheet target #1: Shea Weber


The Edmonton Journal had an article yesterday suggesting the Oilers should take a stab at signing Shea Weber to an offersheet. I don’t have to go on about it since we all know the story, but the Oilers became famous in the post-2005 CBA world for offersheets by signing Thomas Vanek to an offer sheet. When the Sabres matched, the Oilers eventually went after Dustin Penner, and successfully signed him when the Ducks decided not to match the contract.

So here are the biggest names available in this year’s RFA pool (assuming these players aren’t offered extensions before July 1st) that the Oilers could choose to target:

Shea Weber (D) – Nashville Predators
Steven Stamkos (C) – Tampa Bay Lightning
Drew Doughty (D) – Los angeles Kings

So could the Oilers sign any of these guys?

I think it would be tough for them to land any of these guys, as first of all, “it takes two to tango”. The players, themselves, need to agree to the offer sheet. With the Oilers being a last place team, it isn’t the most enticing situation to be in. However, a player might be able to project a bit to see that the Oilers are actually in a pretty good place now with several good players in the wings. They could also see that their own involvement could be enough to push this team over the edge.

The other side of it is: will the team the Oilers are sniping from match the contract? The Predators are probably the biggest potential victim here, as it’s unlikely that they’d want to spend to the cap at all, given their market. The Los Angeles Kings aren’t afraid to spend, when necessary. The Lightning have quite a few expensive contracts, but I think they would just as soon match an offer for Stamkos and find a new home for Lecavalier if they absolutely had to. I don’t much see the Oilers doing anything other than angering another potential trade partner if they tried it. But make no mistake, being successful in signing any of the above 3 would go a very long way to making this team a much more solid group.

What about cap space? The Oilers definitely should be concerned about that, when throwing out any big offers. They don’t want to follow in the footsteps of the Blackhawks, who were forced to give away solid pieces due to lack of cap space. The Oilers sit currently with about $14M in cap space. They currently have 3 very high-salary, overpriced (argue if you will) contracts in Tom Gilbert, Shawn Horcoff and Nikolai Khabibulin. Tom Gilbert’s $4M cap hit doesn’t come off the books until the conclusion of the 2013-14 season. Horcoff’s current contract ends after the 2014-15 season, and Khabibulin’s after 2012-13. This is significant because Hall, Eberle and Paajarvi all have their entry-level deals expire after the 2012-13 season. Ryan Whitney (UFA) is due for a new contract in 2012-13 as well. Even before that, the Oilers have to worry about Ales Hemsky (UFA), Sam Gagner, Jeff Petry, Devan Dubnyk and Linus Omark, who all have their contracts expire after the 2011-12 season. Kurtis Foster’s $1.8M expires after next year, and Jim Vandermeer’s $2.3M expires after this year. That will help out a bit.

Needless to say, if we’re spending the big money (I’d say MINIMUM $6M/year) to try and steal away a guy like Weber, that doesn’t leave a lot of money for raises. This leaves a pretty tough job for capologist Rick Olczyk. I’d imagine he has some figures in mind for several of the players listed above. Certain players will have a walking price, so to speak, in which case we’d likely let them walk if we can’t sign them for less than a certain figure.

I’d say that if we’re going to sign Shea Weber or one of the other guys to an offer sheet, it’s almost certain that we’ll eventually lose another big money player (ex. Hemsky). Perhaps our best bet is to try and trade for Weber using some of the names listed above (excluding the big 3 rookies), and then try and sign him. If we can’t manage to do that, you know we’ll at least get good picks. What to give up for that? Well, Hemsky and Gagner would be the better names in play for me. Names not in play would be the big-3 rookies, as well as the 2011 1st rounder. Most everything else would be considerable.

Should the Oilers offersheet Weber, Stamkos or Doughty?

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14 Responses to “RFA offersheet opportunities”

  1. chucker says:

    No. This is the kind of crap that got us into this mess in the first place. Stick to the program and be patient.

  2. Racki says:

    I should (and will) put up a poll on this. I agree, don’t offer sheet.. but I wouldn’t at all be opposed to a trade and sign. Not sure how easy a task that will be, however.

  3. zackman35 says:

    If I were ST I would throw an offer-sheet to Stamkos in the $6,183,925 to $7,729,907 range over a period of 5-7 years. We’d give up two first-round picks, a second and third-round pick for a 21 year old. 6’1″ 190lb elite center. Well worth it in my opinion, well worth “gambling” our picks.

    As for the other players, more specifically Shea Weber, I’d say pull a Flames move and trade Smid (I think he’s gained some attention from NSH at the deadline?), and maybe a second/third round pick for his “talking rights” a week before his status becomes UFA, as opposed to the offer sheets. And try to sign him to a long term deal similar to Sourays.

    Those are my opinions.

  4. victoriaoilerfan says:

    I am not fan of offer sheets. We have to give up way to much of our future to make them work.

  5. chucker says:

    This isn’t Philly. Weber isn’t going to sign with the Oilers just because we traded for his rights.

    Sign the middle of the road guys we need and then we’ll be able to sign UFAs in a year or two once we start winning.

  6. John says:

    I think I alluded to this before when commenting on Tambi trading guys for picks; my first thought was he could be loading up on picks for exactly the pupose of Offer Sheets. Not condoning that action just saying it’s a possible avenue. Look at it this way; if we knew Tambi throwing out another OS was inevitable, who wood be a better target than Weber? Of the 3 players mentioned in the article, Nashville is in the most precarious financial postion to offer RFA’s lucritive extensions I’d say. Besides, the Preds kick out quality Dman & goaltenders like The Keg knocks out yummy Prime rib! Tampa might as well put up a “going out of business” sign if they let Stamkos go & the LA fans would circumcise Lombardi with a butter knife if they lost Doughty. I would prefer the Oilers build more patiently & use their picks but I would be alright with sacrificing some picks for a young blue chip defenceman.

  7. Racki says:

    chucker:
    This isn’t Philly.Weber isn’t going to sign with the Oilers just because we traded for his rights.

    Sign the middle of the road guys we need and then we’ll be able to sign UFAs in a year or two once we start winning.

    Well, you’re right that there is risk there. But also remember that Weber is RFA, not UFA. If the Oilers don’t sign him, do you think he’ll slide without an offer sheet? I don’t think so. Now two things here.. if he signs, of course we have the right to match (without him having a say in that). If we chose to let him walk, then I’m going to assume it will be one hell of a contract, meaning that it should be for two 1st rounders, a 2nd and a 3rd. So that also adds to the rebuild. However, of course, the price we give up to trade for Weber might be worth more than the two firsts, a 2nd and a 3rd though.

    There’s risk there, but we’d be getting one hell of a player too if we manage to keep him. But I definitely can see the argument for not doing this. But I wouldn’t just toss the idea out either.

    I guess for me it depends on all the pieces involved. I would imagine, like N.O. mentioned in the GDT, it would probably involve Hemsky, Gagner and a pick/prospect. Or perhaps they’d want one of our D back in there too.

    I can definitely wait though.. but it’s just a little food for thought and something fun to talk about when things are a bit dull, post-deadline.

    Weber expedites the rebuild a fair bit (barring major sacrifices), giving us that two-way D-man we really need, plus adds a lot of leadership, compete level, grit, etc.

    That all said, this kind of goes against my regular school of thought which is exactly what Chucker said above… forget the home run deals, and just go for the glue players until we’re really ready. Consider me on the fence here :P

    I think that if Stamkos were a player we could swindle out of TB, I would 100% do it, just because his age also works with the rebuild. Weber… questionable.

  8. dawgtoy says:

    chucker:
    No.This is the kind of crap that got us into this mess in the first place.Stick to the program and be patient.

    Bang on brother, we’ve come this far….stay the course.

  9. chucker says:

    Racki: Well, you’re right that there is risk there. But also remember that Weber is RFA, not UFA. If the Oilers don’t sign him, do you think he’ll slide without an offer sheet? I don’t think so. Now two things here.. if he signs, of course we have the right to match (without him having a say in that). If we chose to let him walk, then I’m going to assume it will be one hell of a contract, meaning that it should be for two 1st rounders, a 2nd and a 3rd. So that also adds to the rebuild. However, of course, the price we give up to trade for Weber might be worth more than the two firsts, a 2nd and a 3rd though.There’s risk there, but we’d be getting one hell of a player too if we manage to keep him. But I definitely can see the argument for not doing this. But I wouldn’t just toss the idea out either. I guess for me it depends on all the pieces involved. I would imagine, like N.O. mentioned in the GDT, it would probably involve Hemsky, Gagner and a pick/prospect. Or perhaps they’d want one of our D back in there too. I can definitely wait though.. but it’s just a little food for thought and something fun to talk about when things are a bit dull, post-deadline. Weber expedites the rebuild a fair bit (barring major sacrifices), giving us that two-way D-man we really need, plus adds a lot of leadership, compete level, grit, etc.That all said, this kind of goes against my regular school of thought which is exactly what Chucker said above… forget the home run deals, and just go for the glue players until we’re really ready. Consider me on the fence here I think that if Stamkos were a player we could swindle out of TB, I would 100% do it, just because his age also works with the rebuild. Weber… questionable.

    If I’m Shea Weber and I get traded to the Oilers, I sign a one year deal and then go to free agency. I see no reason why he would do otherwise unless Nashville let us negotiate a deal before a trade, which I doubt they’d do anyway. They’d also match anything we did in terms of an offer sheet.

    I’d just like to keep building the little bit of good will we have left in the league instead of pissing of more organizations with offer sheets.

  10. Racki says:

    Oh we’re in agreement that offer sheets aren’t the way to go (although if I thought Stamkos could be had, I would do it, however… but that wouldn’t be happening, as TB would match).

    A trade and sign is a tough one though. I think there’s only so long we can play the victim of the NHL though.. the “woe is me” / hockey Siberia stuff. Yes, we’re the butt of the NHL at the moment – we’ve hit rock bottom. However, I think players can see that we have a good thing going here, so while a 35 year old would think twice about coming here, maybe an early 20s player would see that this would be a great long term decision.

    But no, pissing off another team via an offer sheet wouldn’t be a smart idea.

  11. mrgod2u says:

    I like all 3 of these guys, and Weber is awesome… Stamkos is a franchise player at this point, or at least is on the cusp of being one. Tampa would be crazy to let him go, but he’d be worth whatever we had to give. The offer sheet thing is against “the code” however, and we already seem to have no clout in signings or trades. How long would we be a pariah for if this happened. The gain of picking up one amazing player might be countered with us being hamstrung across the next 4 seasons unable to trade-for or sign the glue players needed to fill out the team. Then we are an ok team with one superstar getting knocked out of the playoffs year after year b/c we don’t have depth.

  12. zackman35 says:

    mrgod2u:
    I like all 3 of these guys, and Weber is awesome… Stamkos is a franchise player at this point, or at least is on the cusp of being one. Tampa would be crazy to let him go, but he’d be worth whatever we had to give. The offer sheet thing is against “the code” however, and we already seem to have no clout in signings or trades. How long would we be a pariah for if this happened. The gain of picking up one amazing player might be countered with us being hamstrung across the next 4 seasons unable to trade-for or sign the glue players needed to fill out the team. Then we are an ok team with one superstar getting knocked out of the playoffs year after year b/c we don’t have depth.

    I highly doubt we’ll be able to acquire any of these guys. I suspect ST will do a lot of re-signing of the players in the entire system and he may try to acquire one or two “low end” UFA’s. I was kind of hoping we bolster our “D” by going after Eric Brewer but I have a feeling Stevey Y will sign him. I also have a feeling Stamkos will be a late signing.

    If we did throw an offersheet, I think Racki mentioned earlier I have no doubt in my mind that it would be matched, no matter what we offer Stamkos. We would get an extremely bad rep and it would be worse because we’d be going up one of the hockey greats. If we did acquire him though I think a lot of players would finally start to consider Edmonton. I think it would catapult our re-build.

    Hall – Stamkos – Hemsky/Eberle looks like a pretty mean top line.

  13. Racki says:

    Yah no doubt Stamkos would be awesome here. But yah, that is a bit of a pipe dream. Same thing with the other two guys, I suppose.

    I really think the offer sheet route is a bad idea. I do think if we can trade for Weber (or by some miracle, one of the other two.. which I think there is no chance in doing) then we should do it. He is a bit older (25?) then our younger kids, but we do need experience here as well. And what better piece to have on our blue line than a guy who was an olympic gold medalist, an all-star and 3-time Norris trophy candidate by age 25?

    I get the trepidation over signing an offer sheet… but I would definitely give up a good package to acquire Weber, so long as I was given some time to discuss contract with him by Nashville, or had a feeling he’d sign long term (although we could try and flip him after if we didn’t think he’d be here long term, I suppose).

    At any rate, it’s an option Tambi should consider.

  14. John says:

    I agree Stamkos would be unbelievable on this team but that is about as likely as Kelly Brook coming to live with me lol.

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