Monday, July 6, 2009

Why Offer Sheets Don't Happen

It's been mentioned a time or two that while Boston is shopping Phil Kessel, and I think we'd all love to see him playing for Atlanta, the Bruins don't need what we have to give. Sadly, Atlanta is just not a viable trading partner in a potential Phil Kessel move.

There is of course another way to acquire a restricted free agent whose rights are owned by another team. That is to sign the player to an offer sheet and hope his club doesn't match the offer.

Phil Kessel is a great player and would look great on a line with the Czar. But when a team successfully swipes a player from another team via offer sheet, the "losing team" is automatically compensated according to the following criteria:

For a contract worth a yearly salary of:
$2,615,623 - $3,923,437
1st and 3rd round pick

$3,923,437 - $5,231,249
1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick

$5,231,249 - $6,539,062
Two 1st's, one 2nd, one 3rd round pick

Kessel is reportedly seeking around 5 million per year. It's likely that if a team forced Boston's hand at 5 mil per year, they'd just match the offer and the American sniper would stay with the Hub. So in order to successfully steal away Phil Kessel, a team would have to negotiate a deal worth an excess of 5.23 million per year, placing it in the final category. As good as Kessel would look in that Thrasher jersey, I don't think it'd be worth tossing away all of our draft picks for the first three rounds of next year's draft.

Alas, we'll have to resign ourselves to only cheering for Phil Kessel for two weeks in 2010 while he wears the American flag on his shoulder.


aaron said...

unless your name is kevin lowe and you have a the math smarts (and talent judging ability) of your average 5 year-ol.

Joe said...

If you get Boston to match a 5M offer sheet, that's still a win for the team making the offer. That's making Boston pay that much more than they wanted to for the player, limiting their ability to spend money on other parts of the roster.

Furthermore, you're neglecting the fact that Boston has less than 3M in cap room, as I recall. So if you offer sheet Kessel for say 3.5, Boston must either dump salary to match the sheet, or let you take a great young player for a bargain price. No reason that offer couldn't be successfully made.