Is P.K. Subban an offer sheet candidate? Will the Bobby Ryan snub prevent a gold medal? Who will be Team USA’s captain? All this and more in this week’s hockey mailbag. If you want to be featured in next week’s mailbag, send your questions, hockey ideas and observations in here.
Will P.K. Subban be a popular offer sheet candidate? I know they are not too popular, but many teams could use his talents.
Pete G., Tampa, Fla.
Offer sheets are a lot more fun in theory than they are in reality. It’s just not a weapon that is effective unless a lot of things line up. When you’re looking for offer sheet candidates, you have to look beyond the player and also at the team’s financial situation. You want to target a team that is either squeezed against the cap or doesn’t have deep pockets to match the offer, and even then that doesn’t always work. San Jose offer-sheeted Niklas Hjalmarsson in a clever move when the Blackhawks were having serious cap issues. It didn’t work, but it probably led to the freeing up of Antti Niemi, a nice consolation prize for GM Doug Wilson.
Philadelphia took a run at Shea Weber in part because the deep-pocketed Flyers knew that all the money up front in that deal wouldn’t be easy for Nashville to pay. That didn’t work either. In Montreal’s case, they have both money and cap space. They’ll match any offer sheet for Subban, and then you’ve just angered a team with space and money, which can mean a retaliatory offer sheet. I don’t see it as a realistic option.
Was Team USA picked by Boston's Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli? I thought they were Canadian. Hey fellas, it's OK to score goals -- goals are good. As Cam Neely once said, "you can't win games 0-0."
Marc, Malden, Mass.
Team USA GM David Poile has assembled a team that is versatile, has some edge and enough speed to be competitive on the big ice. However, leaving guys like Bobby Ryan, Jason Pominville and Keith Yandle at home mean that scoring could be an issue.