Two Restricted Three Agents remain in the NHL and one, in particular, is worth a potential offer sheet from the Arizona Coyotes.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and Wiliam Nylander are currently in contract negotiations, with no real indication of how close the two parties are on getting the deal done.
Jared Clinton of The Hockey News reports that speculation around the deal suggests that the Leafs are looking to lock Nylander up for around $6 million to $6.6 million per year while Nylander is looking to earn closer to $8 million.
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This opens up the possibility of another team in the NHL offer sheeting Nylander, with the Coyotes one of the few teams capable of making such a move.
CapFriendly has a useful guide showing what teams would need to part with based on the annual contract value they offer sheet a player with.
It also shows which teams have the requisite draft picks to be able to make the offer sheet, with the Coyotes sitting pretty with most of their own picks over the next few seasons.
If Nylander is expecting an $8 million-a-year deal, then that is something the Coyotes could certainly accommodate.
At the time of writing, the Coyotes have cap space to the value of $10,158,891 and do not have too many big contracts to deal with next season.
Based on the number of UFAs and RFAs the Coyotes will have next season, they have a projected $17,622,224 available to play with.
Jakob Chychrun is the biggest name free agent for the Coyotes next summer, but he isn’t likely to break the bank this time around.
If the Arizona Coyotes target Nylander with an $8 million per season contract for seven years, they would need to give up one first-round pick, one second-round pick and one third-round pick.
This is because the contract offer would fit within the $6,088,981 – $8,118,641 offer sheet bracket. If Arizona offered over $8,118,641 they would need to part with an additional first-round pick.
Arizona owns all of the necessary picks next year and has more than enough cap space moving forward to make this kind of offer.
So what could happen if the team attempted this?
Well, for one, Nylander could opt to not sign the offer sheet. If this happens, the Coyotes lose the chance of signing a legitimate top-line forward, but that’s it.
There are no drawbacks or punishments for a team offer sheeting a player that doesn’t sign it, the drawbacks only come into play if he does.
If Nylander signed the offer sheet, it would force the Toronto Maple Leafs to make a tough decision – do they cave and match the offer that is above their overall valuation of the player, or do they lose him for nothing to the Coyotes?
If the Leafs match, then they re-sign Nylander. For the Coyotes, they once again lose nothing.
If, however, he signs the offer, then there is a chance the Coyotes part with three draft picks but land a guy that would be the perfect linemate alongside Clayton Keller.
William Nylander has 48 goals and 135 total points to his name in his first 185 regular season games in the NHL.
He has posted back-to-back 61 point seasons and is a top young talent that immediately upgrades the Arizona Coyotes.
Offer sheeting the talented Swede is a win-win situation for John Chayka, who could even look to team captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson for some additional help in persuading his fellow countryman to seriously consider the offer.
It would be a win-win situation for the Coyotes, who have everything to gain and very little to lose from a potential Nylander offer sheet.
Teams appear to be avoiding this option, but if the Arizona Coyotes want to continue to build a strong, competitive team, then it might be time for some creativity.
What do you think Coyotes fans? Would you like to see the team attempt an offer sheet for William Nylander? Do you think the team should look at other avenues to improve? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!