Writing a sentence sheet is a dangerous game. But hockey thrives on chaos. Here’s a list of players who might attract offers with a compensation package that could make their teams think twice about making a choice.

Drafting offers is a dangerous game.

It can be a complicated process because you need to evaluate the player’s willingness to sign, your ability to absorb the contract you offer, and the host team’s willingness to honor it. In most cases, teams are very frugal with their assets and will certainly agree to almost any offer.

There was only one instance in the cap era where a team refused to meet an offer; in 2007, the Ducks refused to meet the Oilers’ offer for Dustin Penner, and it became such a heated event that it almost led to a real fight.

Some smart general managers can even think two steps ahead; burdening a team with an offer they have to negotiate can put it over the limit and force it to part with other players who will have to be traded or moved for pennies. With a flat limit, there is a cascading effect where the contract knocks the team’s cap structure out of whack.

But hockey thrives on chaos, and chaos is what we will provide. Here’s a list of players who aren’t facing arbitration hearings and could receive offers with a compensation package that could make their teams think twice about their choices.

It’s not always about assigning a player the right value or compensation package; it’s about making an offer that can get the receiving team to decline so that you have a good chance of getting the player you want. All figures are according to CapFriendly.

Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks
Compensation level: four first round picks, AAV: $10,276,830+

There are very good reasons why the Canucks are wary of a potential offer for their franchise player. According to CapFriendly, the Canucks have just over $14 million left on their free money list: Pettersson, Quinn Hughes (who is ineligible for a 10.2(c) RFA), Jason Dickinson (also ineligible for player-choice salary arbitration) and Ollie Juolevi.

Presumably, the Canucks will agree to any offer, both as a token gesture to the league that their players cannot be poached, and because there is no guarantee that any of their four first-round picks received as compensation will bring a player of Pettersson’s caliber. But if we play a little 3D chess, any offer worth more than $10,276,830 per season would leave the Canucks with too little money for Hughes. To accommodate both Pettersson and Hughes, the Canucks would have to dump salaries again, with little leverage in trade negotiations.

Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina Hurricanes
Compensation: two first-round picks, one second-round pick, one third-round pick, AAV: $8,221,464 to $10,276,829.

The Canes team is always an interesting example because they seem to be very cost-conscious. It’s also compensation a level higher than the Canadiens’ offer for Sebastian Aho in 2019, when the compensation would have been just three picks, one each in the first three rounds of the 2020 draft. Four picks, including two in the first round, could make the Canucks think twice, and the team making the offer could offer up to $10,276,829, further disrupting the Canes’ cap structure.

However, signing such a lucrative contract with a 21-year-old player who has yet to reach his potential carries a lot of risk: according to CapFriendly, only one player has signed an eight-figure AAV at age 21: Jack Eichel.

Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers
Compensation level: one first round pick, one second round pick, one third round pick, AAV: $6,166,097 to $8,221,463.

That would be a very aggressive move given the awful season Hart just had. But remember, it wasn’t long ago that we were ready to call him the goalie of the future for Team Canada. At this point, no one is sure which Hart will emerge in October, and making big commitments to big goalies comes with a lot of risk. Cam Ward led the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup title, but has never been able to reach the same peak in subsequent years, although he has remained a reliable starter.

The Flyers are likely to agree to any offer because they have no immediate replacement in the event of Hart’s loss — Martin Jones won’t fit — but it could definitely change the course of their franchise.

Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers
Compensation level: one first-round pick, one second-round pick, one third-round pick, AAV: $6,166,097 to $8,221,463.

Shesherkin has little experience, but he has shown flashes of brilliance. Judging by the free agent signings, the Rangers are in “win now” mode, so would they be willing to shell out that kind of money for the potential heir to King Henrik’s throne right now? Oh, and with a defense that still lacks quality depth? Another aspect to consider is that the Rangers may already have a good backup plan in Alexandar Georgiev, who also has the potential to be a starter.

Ilya Sorokin, New York Islanders
Compensation level: one first-round pick, one second-round pick, one third-round pick, AAV: $6,166,097 to $8,221,463.

At some point Sorokin will want a chance to be No. 1. That time may come soon, but not now with Semyon Varlamov signed through the 2022-23 season and a $5 million cap hit. The Isles have free play space, and if Johnny Boychuck moves to LTIR with his $6 million contract, that would open up more opportunities, but potentially investing more than $11 million in the net may not be such a good idea.

Sorokin, an Olympic gold medalist and former KHL champion, has the pedigree to be a starter, and even if signing with that amount of AAV seems like a big gamble, it wouldn’t be the worst contract for a goalie in the league.

Anthony Beauvillier, New York Islanders
Compensation level: one first-round pick, one third-round pick, AAV: $4,110,733 – $6,166,096

Okay, we really want to ruffle Lou Lamoriello’s feathers, and that scares me a bit. However, Beauvillier is on a two-year, $2.1 million bridge contract with AAV and has already shown enough that he can be a dangerous top-six striker. At that level of compensation, you can bet that the Isles simply don’t have the necessary cap space to accommodate everyone (including UFAs Casey Chizikas, Kyle Palmieri and Zach Parise), not because Bovillier isn’t worth the money. A move to a higher level would burden the offering team with a contract the 24-year-old might not live up to, and of course they would have to accept the loss of a big chunk of their future.

Ilya Samsonov, Washington Capitals
Compensation: one first-round pick, one third-round pick, AAV: $4,110,733 to $6,166,096.

After Alex Ovechkin signed a $9.5 million extension, the Caps have about $2.6 million left. Samsonov just signed an entry-level contract and has already shown the potential of a starting player, even though he has only played 45 games. Don’t forget that the Caps already have another potential starting player, Witek Vanecek, whom they bought out of Kraken.

Samsonov is probably worth more to the Caps than just a first- and third-round pick, so a three-player compensation package would be much more interesting (read: chaotic), but the results and progress of young goalies are notoriously difficult to predict. Should Samsonov already be on such a big contract right now?

Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Montreal Canadiens
Compensation level: one first-round pick, one third-round pick, AAV: $4,110,733 – $6,166,096.

Kotkaniemi is still fumbling his way through the NHL and, until recently, played in the playoffs as a healthy backup, but part of the fun of offers is applying pressure and making teams suffer, and there is precedent for return offers; in 2008, the Canucks offered David Backs a three-year, $7.5 million offer. dollars, and the Blues not only responded, but turned around and made a one-year offer to Steve Bernier for $2.5 million.

A compensation package of just two picks — the next lower level of compensation — probably won’t stop the Habs from settling, and an offer at the next highest level of compensation is a risk in itself, since it remains to be seen how good Kotkaniemi will be. But the Habs have some cap issues, and if they accept the offer, it could force them to move another player to fit him into Kotkaniemi’s new contract.

Nolan Patrick, Vegas Golden Knights
Compensation: one first-round pick, one third-round pick, AAV: $4,110,733 to $6,166,096.

It’s unlikely that the Knights will turn down any offer since they gave up another former first-round pick, Cody Glass, to get him, and Patrick has shared ties with general manager Kelly McCrimmon from their days with the Western League’s Brandon Wheat Kings team. The Knights are betting on Patrick to unlock his potential after he was diagnosed with a migraine and are desperate for new players at center. However, an offer in this range should at least force the Knights to make a tough decision. AAV at this rate for Patrick, even with his potential, is a big risk considering he scored just nine points in 52 games last season.

Kyler Yamamoto, Edmonton Oilers
Compensation level: one first-round pick, one third-round pick, AAV: $4,110,733 to $6,166,096.

Yamamoto is in the same boat as Patrick: he has huge potential, but after signing Darnell Nurse for $74 million, it may not give the Oilers much leeway going forward, and they are already stacked against the cap even though the extension hasn’t gone into effect yet. Yamamoto is completing the final year of his entry-level contract, but he had a disappointing year with only eight goals and 21 points in 52 games. Still, he is a top-six forward on a team that lacks quality depth, and that would make the Oilers’ decision very difficult, although turning down the offer could help them recoup the third-round pick they traded to the Blackhawks as part of the deal to acquire Duncan Keith.

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