Kyle Dubas has finally spoke his mind about the “looming threat of offer sheets”, and much like the realistic minds of the hockey world (including yours truly), he isn’t all that worried about them.
In a media scrum earlier today, Dubas was asked about if he’s concerned about Marner or Matthews getting offer sheeted, among other things. And he isn’t.
Nor should he. He first points out that we’re going into a high-class RFA year, with lots of good players needing extensions this season. Along with Marner and Matthews, players like Mikko Rantanen, Brayden Point, Matthew Tkachuk, Sebastian Aho, Brock Boeser, Patrik Laine, Kyle Conner, Charlie McAvoy, Zach Werenski, and Ivan Provorov, so a lot of teams need to worry about their own players before they go and offer sheet a Leaf.
Secondly, teams need the draft picks to make the offer sheets. If someone were to try and offer sheet Marner between $8,118,642 and $10,148,302, only 16 teams have the picks to do it, and that’s not to say that they’ll have the cap space when the time comes. If they were to offer Marner or Matthews anything north of that, it would require four first round picks, which we know teams will give away at the trade deadline.
Third, teams don’t ever use offer sheets. The last time we saw one was in 2013 when Calgary tried to offer sheet Ryan O’Reilly. It just doesn’t happen, and aside from Lou being petty about Tavares, it likely won’t happen.
Finally, why would either player want to sign an offer sheet? Why would either one want to leave their team when they’re contending for a cup. That would probably be dumb, regardless of how much money Arizona is offering you.
There were several other topics that Dubas addressed in the scrum as well.
-He mentioned that he plans to have Matthews and Marner signed by July 1. That would be a safe bet, especially if you want to make sure that any offer sheet doesn’t happen.
-He also said that he doesn’t think the team needs more toughness. Almost as if, you know, it’d be silly to take out any of the skilled players in this lineup to try and insert a guy who’s slow and useless aside from punching people. Babcock realized it too when Matt Martin barely saw the ice for the second half of the season.
-He hinted at changes if the Leafs breakout doesn’t improve, since the Leafs haven’t exactly been amazing at it, and while there’s still room to grow, they might need some external motivation to fix it.
-He also talked a bit about progress with Gardiner, and it’s not much more than something you or I would say. He’s a great player, and they’ll try to fit him in the cap if it works, but if it doesn’t, Gardiner will probably have the same fate as van Riemsdyk and Bozak last year.