Blackhawk Down; Offer Sheet Signed
As TSN’s very own Bob McKenzie (while on vacation) noted via twitter, the San Jose Sharks have become the first team since those led by Brian Burke and Bobby Clarke to ignore the unwritten rule in hockey known as “tendering offer sheets”.
Even with all the moves the Blackhawks have made to free enough money for their salary cap issues, a dilemma has been presented to them today. One which will not have an easy decision come about from it.
The Sharks have signed RFA D-man Niklas Hjarlmasson to an offer sheet. The contract is for four years and $14 million. With Antti Niemi heading to arbitration, it remains to be seen exactly how much his arbitrator will rule, likely in his favor thus leaving the Hawks with a big question mark on how to go about the offer sheet signing.
As of today, the Blackhawks have seven days to match the offer or Hjarlmasson becomes a Shark.
A bold move by Sharks GM Doug Wilson, looking to fill his depleted blue line which came about with the departure of long time d-man Rob Blake to retirement.
Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, after finally releasing himself and his team of some of the pressure from the cap constructed era we are currently involved in, has a very important decision to make over the course of the next seven days.
If the Blackhawks decide to decline matching the offer sheet, compensation would come in the form of a 1st and 3rd round draft pick from the San Jose Sharks.
Again, a very bold move by the San Jose Sharks.
This is one explanation as to why holding onto your draft picks could play a crucial role in moving forward. However, it is very rare that we witness offer sheets being tendered around the NHL.
Will this be the first of more?