New Jersey Devils Off-Season: Using An Offer Sheet? Part 2


The Stanley Cup playoffs may be in the Conference Finals stage but for our New Jersey Devils the off-season has almost reached its 7th week. A few days ago I looked at a group of players I think may be worthy of an offer sheet with the new compensation being at a slight advantage and temptation for teams looking to snatch up young talent. Here we’ll look at three more players headed towards RFA status that would improve the New Jersey Devils forward group.

Part 1 can be viewed here and the offer sheet compensation is as follows.

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Vladimir Tarasenko – 2014/15 cap hit $900k

The St. Louis Blues are currently headed into a summer where Olli Jokinen, Marcel Goc, Zbynek Michalek, Barret Jackman and Jake Allen heading for either UFA or RFA status alongside Vladimir Tarasenko. They will have around $11.9m cap space to use on these deals plus any additions they may want to make. It’s no doubt that Tarasenko is an exceptional player and has the talent to become a special player. An offer sheet in the region of $6-7m will force the Blues management, which includes Martin Brodeur, into a tough decision. Either match it and lose talent or let the player go and receive three draft picks.

Of course the jump from $900k to $6m is quite a leap, but Vladimir Tarasenko isn’t your average $900k player. It wouldn’t surprise me if pretty soon a $6-7m cap hit will be the average for the league’s better players. I had the opportunity and pleasure to see Tarasenko as he dueled with

Cory Schneider

, ultimately scoring the game winner, at the Prudential Center in November. I’d definitely like to see the New Jersey Devils steal another superstar away from St. Louis.

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Beau Bennett – 2014/15 cap hit $900k

Pittsburgh find themselves in a similar situation to the St. Louis Blues with an estimated $700k less cap space. The list of free agents in Pittsburgh is longer too. Daniel Winnik, Maxim Lapierre, Steve Downie, Craig Adams, Blake Comeau, Christian Ehrhoff, Paul Martin, Ian Cole and Thomas Greiss. Obviously a few of these players will be looking for new homes come July 1st. Craig Adams was ever-present under the Ray Shero/Dan Bylsma regime, but fell out of favor under Jim Rutherford and Mike Johnston and will not be back in Pittsburgh. Paul Martin is another that will most likely find himself on a new team next season, maybe back with the New Jersey Devils.

Beau Bennett debuted strongly for the Penguins in the lockout shortened season tallying 14 points in 26 games. This followed an impressive rookie campaign in the AHL scoring 28 points in 39 Wilkes-Barre/Scranton games. His production dropped off and he was scratched as the Penguins limped into the playoffs and were eliminated by the New York Rangers. Bennett is not only young, but he’s a forward with scoring ability and is just what the New Jersey Devils need. Maybe a change of scenery would put him back on track. The way the last season went he could potentially be had for just a 3rd round pick which could be a good gamble for the New Jersey Devils.

Jakob Silfverberg – 2014/15 cap hit $850k

The 6th player of this series is the only one still playing hockey and perhaps the lease likely to end up on the New Jersey Devils. Anaheim Ducks winger Jakob Silfverberg. Perhaps the least likely to happen from the team with the least troubles of the six covered. The Ducks have a healthy $17.5m cap space with veteran defensemen Francois Beauchemin and Sheldon Souray creating $7m of the new space. It’s likely only one or neither of the vets are re-signed with the depth Anaheim has in defense. Silfverberg has been a solid member of the Ducks since being acquired in the Bobby Ryan with Ottawa.

Silfverberg signed a one-year deal with Anaheim at the end on the 2013/14 season. It was a $50k pay cut for the Swede as he racked up 23 points in 52 games. Take that up to 39 points in 81 games with 13 points in 12 playoff games this season and Silfverberg is due to add an extra zero to his salary. Anaheim also has to negotiate new deals for Emerson Etem, Beleskey and Korbinian Holzer. The only way the New Jersey Devils could pull off getting Silfverberg would be to overpay as Anaheim has the cap space and talent to match any reasonable offers.

Next: Guy Boucher: New Jersey Devils Head Coach Candidate