New NHL offer sheet compensation revealed.
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New NHL offer sheet compensation revealed.

Teams will still be expected to pay a king's ransom if they wish to offer sheet a rival player.

Jonathan Larivee

It is an unfortunate reality of the National Hockey League that one of the most exciting tools available to NHL general managers is one that we almost never seen deployed. I am of course talking about the NHL's notorious offer sheets.

There is a widely held belief that the main reason we don't see offer sheets deployed is due to the fact that NHL general managers are concerned about retaliatory offer sheets, but I'm not convinced. I am of the opinion that the real reason we don't see offer sheets deployed more often is simply due to the fact that the cost of doing business that way is simply too high.

Compensation for offer sheets has been at a level so high that NHL general managers simply aren't willing to mortgage the future on what amounts to a free agent signing, especially when we are talking about the compensation at the higher end of the scale.

Unfortunately it seems that hasn't changed with Puck Pedia recently revealing what NHL offer sheet compensation will look like as we move towards the 2024-25 NHL regular season. Once again the cost at the high end will simply be too high for any NHL general manager to take the risk of using an offer sheet on a high-end player.

At the lower end of the scale, that is to say players earning under $1.5 million per season, there is no compensation of any kind required.

Staying at the lower end of the spectrum, we immediately move into compensation once the threshold of $1.5 million has been broken with compensation for a contract valued between $1.51 million to $2.29 million per season valued at a 3rd round draft pick.

Things start to get pricy at the next tier, with a contract between $2.29 million and $4.58 million costing the team submitting the offer sheet a 2nd round draft selection.

Although still highly unlikely, these first 3 tiers are where I believe we are most likely to see offer sheets deployed with the compensation required being somewhat reasonable. Once we move beyond this however the cost of compensation really ramps up significantly.

A contract between $4.58 million and $6.87 million jumps straight to a 1st round draft selection plus a 3rd round draft selection.

That is a costly price to be sure but we really take a big leap forward with contracts valued between $6.87 million and $9.16 million with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick all required as compensation.

The final two tiers are so over the top that I can't imagine a scenario in which either would ever happen. The first being compensation for a contract between $9.16 million and $11.45 million coming in at a whopping cost of a 1st, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft picks.

And the infamous four 1st round picks will remain this time around as well, with any player receiving an offer sheet with a contract valued at over $11.45 million per season coming with that insane additional cost attached to them. No NHL general manager is ever going to mortgage the future to that degree, and therefore I don't believe we will ever see an offer sheet in that range unless the rules around compensation are severely relaxed.