Five Restricted Free Agents Who Could Receive An Offer Sheet

P.K. Subban Written by Dale Lamontagne, can be found on twitter @Dale_Lamontagne.

With the NHL offseason just beginning, I have put together a list of RFAs that could receive an offer sheet this summer. Starting on June 25th, Restricted Free Agents (RFAs) can start contract talks with other teams during the NHL’s interview process. (free agent interview period rule revision)

If you are not sure how this works, let me tell you by using an unrealistic example:

An offer sheet is a contract offered to an RFA (P.K. Subban) by a team other than the one he played for (Montreal Canadiens) during the prior season (Toronto Maple Leafs). Basically, if the player (Subban) signs the offer sheet, his current NHL team (Canadiens) will have seven days to match the contract offer (7 years, $70 million total), and keep the player, or if the team (Canadiens) don’t match the offer, the player (Subban) will go to the team that offered him the contract (Maple Leafs), along with draft pick compensation going to his first team (Canadiens).

Below is the draft pick compensation chart:

Cap Hit of offer sheet Draft Pick Compensation
$1,110,249 or below None
Over $1,110,249 to $1,682,194 Third-round pick
Over $1,682,194 to $3,364,391 Second-round pick
Over $3,364,391 to $5,046,585 First-round and third-round pick
Over $5,046,585 to $6,728,781 First-round, second-round and third-round pick
Over $6,728,781 to $8,410,976 Two first-round picks, second-round pick, third-round pick
Over $8,410,976 Four first-round picks

Anyways, without further ado, here are 5 players that I think could receive an offer sheet this offseason.

5. Justin Schultz
Team: Edmonton Oilers
Age: 23
Position: Defence
Prior Contract: 2-years, $925,000 per year
2013-14 Stats: 74 GP, 11 G, 22 A, 33 P

Justin Schultz is a pretty interesting RFA this summer. He’s a pretty solid puck moving defenceman, who could be seeking a yearly salary of $4+ million this offseason.

During the 2013-14 campaign with the Edmonton Oilers, Schultz recorded 33 points, making him the sixth top scorer on the Oilers team that finished 28th in the league.

Although his defensive side could use a little bit of work, he does indeed have some solid upside and would be a great fit on a team that are in need of a mobile defenceman.

Potential Destinations? Flyers, Leafs, Flames, Panthers

4. Ryan Johansen
Team: Columbus Blue Jackets
Age: 21
Position: Center
Prior Contract: Three-year ELC, $870,000 per year.
2013-14 Stats: 82 GP, 33 G, 33 A, 63 P

For a center Johansen is a pretty big guy, at 6’3’’ and 223 pounds. He’s coming off an entry level deal and has been improving offensively each year. This past season he scored 63 points, making him the Blue Jackets leading scorer in the regular season.

Johansen still has to prove that he is worth more than $5 million a year and should agree to a two or three year bridge contract that would pay him $3 million a year. Now, if a team were to offer sheet him it would have to be over $5 million a season on a long term deal.

Potential Destinations? Leafs, Sabres, Oilers, Canucks

3. Erik Gudbranson
Team: Florida Panthers
Age: 22
Position: Defence
Prior Contract: Three-year ELC, $900,000 per year
2013-14 Stats: 65 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 P

Gudbranson, 22, is a big guy for his age. At 6’5’’ and 210 pounds, he is a solid physical defenceman who’s known for playing a shutdown role. His leadership qualities are impressive, hence why many believe he will be the next captain of the Panthers.

It wouldn’t cost much for a team to offer sheet the 22-year-old, as he’s coming off an entry-level deal that paid him $900,000 per season. If a team were to send him an offer sheet, it would likely be a long term deal, that could pay anything over $4 million per year.

Potential destinations? Flyers, Islanders, Oilers, Flames, Hurricanes

2. Ryan O’Reilly
Team: Colorado Avalanche
Age: 23
Position: Center
Prior Contract: Two-years, $5,000,000 per year
2013-14 Stats: 80 GP, 28 G, 36 A, 64 P

Ryan O’Reilly is only 23-year-old. Can you believe that? He is one of the best two-way players in the NHL and he just won the Lady Byng Trophy. The great thing about O’Reilly is, he can play both the wing and center positions, which is an added bonus for any team.

It would cost a lot more than $6 million per season to get him out of Colorado. O’Reilly is coming off a two-year bridge contract that paid him $5 million per year, so expect him to sign a long-term deal that pays more than $6 million a season if he tests UFA.

Potential Destinations? Leafs, Blackhawks, Ducks, Jets, Flames

1. P.K. Subban
Team: Montreal Canadiens
Age: 25
Position: Defence
Prior Contract: Two-years, $2,875,000 per year
2013-14 Stats: 82 GP, 10 G, 43 A, 53 P

The former Norris Trophy winner, P.K. Subban, is coming off a two-year deal, worth $5.75 million. TSN, along with several other media outlets, say Subban could seek between $8 million to $9 million per season on max term deal this summer. Subban is in line for a hefty raise, and rightfully so, after a strong season with the Habs, and a very impressive playoff run.

I fully believe Subban is worth the money he is asking for, but he may not receive all of it due to the fact Montreal has other key pieces to re-sign this offseason too.

If a team sends an offer sheet to Subban’s way, it could cost upwards of $10 million to get him out of Montreal, but it’s very unlikely that happens.

Potential Destinations? Oilers, Flyers and Islanders


  1. microsoft points

    June 28, 2014 at 1:16 am

    I hope the Islanders can get Subban. That would be sick.

  2. Dok

    June 28, 2014 at 1:42 am

    I would trade Subban for four NYI first-round picks in a heartbeat. Every one of those is going to be in the top 10 and most likely every one will be a top 5 and will likely produce at least two bonafide NHL stars. The Habs could then use that money to sign a guy like Niskanen that would be roughly a 75% replacement. Do it, Snow!

  3. Matt.

    June 28, 2014 at 2:01 am

    Dok – that is not going to happen – wow. where is your brain? Habs, would be the biggest idiots of the universe if they do not sign Subban. He is a franchise player, like Price, that they need to build around. how they made the playoffs on paper? beyond many people..Gionta – not a captain. sorry, you’re tiny and not st.louis, assistant at best. Also – I like how the leafs are expected to sign almost everybody this year, can’t wait – based on all rumours out there, the leafs roster will be exceeding 85 players. everybody, is going to AND will play for the leafs. Nonis, your so good! and everybody on the leafs will be rumoured by some dumbass to be traded for every player better than everybody on the leafs team currently. pretty sure phanuef and kadri will rake in lebron james. actually, I’m 100% sure that’ll happen – SAID EVERY HOCKEY BLOGGER EVER.

  4. Aaron

    June 28, 2014 at 2:30 am

    With the cap set where it is, playoff contenders won’t have the cap room to do the move. Considering the rule changes (anyone who misses the playoffs can win the lottery for a top 3 pick) would keep the basement teams from doing this. Having a shot at McJesus (stole that) or Eichel (sure I spelled that wrong)’ is probably a deterrent. Imagine losing the 1st rounder and find out later the pick turned into one of those guys.

  5. Dok

    June 28, 2014 at 10:23 am

    It’s conventional wisdom to think that the Habs should just sign Subban for whatever the cost, but I disagree with conventional wisdom. I don’t believe that Subban actually has that much value at this stage. He’s an RFA that will be a UFA in one year. Occasionally, you will get an opportunity to sign top-tier defensemen (Weber a couple years ago) at no asset cost to your franshise. If a player like Weber doesn’t cost anything to sign then why does Subban have more value than four first-round picks when he’s one year away from UFA? I believe that if he doesn’t sign for a reasonable number then his value will drop, much in the same way Phaneuf’s did. A player’s value is very much tied to his cap hit and it’s very hard to field a competitive team unless you either make excellent bargain FA signings, or you have an infusion of youth (cheap players), which means you need to draft well, or have opportunities to draft the best players. If (and a big if, course) the Habs could sign a player like Niskanen, then wouldn’t Niskanen and four very good first-round picks be worth Subban? Even if Niskanen doesn’t sign, there’s still 8-9 million in cap space that the Habs would have to sign a couple of good players, or one great player. Cap space is an asset and 9 million is a huge asset. If you can’t draft at least two good players with 4 top 10 picks then you probably shouldn’t be a GM of an NHL franchise

  6. Shane

    July 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Subban is not worth $10M.