Restricted Free Agents Available For An Offer Sheet

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Even if the key free agents, unrestricted that is, have found their teams since the opening of the free agent market opened on October 9th, several roster player movements could still occur in the NHL Several teams have to make some hard decisions based on their current payroll situation versus the cap staying at 81.5 million dollars for the next three years. Add to this complexity, the arrival of the Seattle Kracken at the end next season and you have a perfect storm.

On the UFA list, there is still alot of good players such as Mike Hoffman, who would have received several calls from teams, but also free agents with restrictions who are still without a contract. As we all know, offer sheets are not common in the NHL because of the consequences afterward such as letting go first round selections 3 to 4 years in a row, but they happen. Take last year as a great example, when the Montreal Canadiens made an offer to Sebastian Aho from the Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina was able to match but it put them in a temporary bind financially.

We took a look at some of them who could receive an offer sheet by a team with the cap space. Keep in mind a lot of strategy goes into play like Montreal did in their offer. A team will look at how close a team is to the cap limit, how many players they need to resign to get to a full 23-player roster, how many future prospects and core players a team needs to resign to remain competitive and as mention earlier, the upcoming expansion. Like the Canadiens did in 2019, they offered up front nearly 12 million dollars in bonus to be paid to Aho which can be a deterrent willing to save some cash for other players to sign later.

Notable RFAs

Mathew Barzal is obviously the customer who should get the most money. The 23-year-old center has taken the New York Islanders by storm. New York currently has just under $9 million in space under the salary cap and Lou Lamoriello has to keep money to sign Ryan Pulock, also a free agent with restrictions. They’ve already been forced to trade Devon Toews for space. Could another staff move be completed before the start of the next season? We shouldn’t rule out that possibility.

Notable RFA on this list are obviously Pierre-Luc Dubois (Blue Jackets), Anthony Mantha (Red Wings) and Mikhail Sergachev (Lightning) along with Griffin Reinhart (Sabres) Except for the Lightning those teams have a lot of space under the salary cap and do not have many big long-term commitments. As for Sergachev, Tampa Bay general manager Julien Brisebois has already stated his defenceman is part of the future and will get resigned.

So here is the list of those players who could interest other teams and worth the gamble.

1. Mathew Barzal – C – 23 years old (Islanders)

2. Pierre-Luc Dubois – C – 22 years old (Blue Jackets)

3. Mikhail Sergachev – LD – 22 years old (Lightning)

4. Anthony Cirelli – C – 23 years old (Lightning)

5. Anthony Mantha – LW/RW – 26 years old (Red Wings)

6. Dylan Strome – C – 23 years old (Blackhawks)

7. Vince Dunn – LD – 23 years old (Blues)

8. Roope Hintz – LW – 23 years old (Stars)

9. Mackenzie Blackwood – G – 23 years old (Devils)

10. Jake DeBrusk – LW – 23 years old (Bruins)

Key Signings

Dmitry Kulikov – 1 year at 1.15 million by the New Jersey Devils



Denis Gurianov – 2 years at 2.55 million anually by the Dallas Stars



Jake Virtanen – 2 yeats at 2.55 million anually by the Vancouver Canucks


Connor Brown – 3 years with a 3.6 million AAV by the Ottawa Senators


Antoine Bibeau – 1 year – 2 way contract (NHL 700K / MINOR 75K)


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