NHL Rumors: Elias Pettersson offer sheet, Flyers likely to target defense in free agency, and Red Wings coaching change possible

Mar 1, 2021; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson (40) warms up prior to a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

An Elias Pettersson offer sheet? It’s now become a rite of passage for every writer entering the offseason to identify a top end RFA and waste characters on a potential offer sheet. Last season it was Mat Barzal that had plenty of people discussing the possibility which ultimately never came.

Elias Pettersson offer sheet looming?

The Vancouver Canucks are bound to match any offer sheet that Pettersson signs. As legendary broadcaster John Shannon once told me, the GM holding the rights is basically having the deal negotiated by another. Thanks for doing all the work while I had a beer on the porch this summer.

Still here we are and Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province has to at least discuss the unlikely probability.

But what if the unthinkable happens and a team swoops in with an offer sheet for Pettersson? There are few teams that *should* make such a move, but given how rare offer sheets are, we know it probably doesn’t happen. But if you’re Seattle, you really should think about it. Throw a huge offer, one that, given the Canucks’ cap constraints, would make it very hard to match. Heck, if you’re Montreal, maybe you should think about it too. The Habs do have cap space and Marc Bergevin and Pat Brisson do have a long standing relationship.

The Province

Funny that he should mention Montreal. Thanks to Bergevin’s attempt at signing Carolina’s Sebastian Aho to an offer sheet in back in 2019, it means the possibility is real. So we keep writing about it despite the improbability that it would actually be successful.

elias pettersson offer sheet
Elias Pettersson (USATSI)

Flyers will target a shutdown defender in free agency

The Flyers have a lot of work to do in order to upgrade their defense. Philadelphia was abysmal in their own zone this season and Carter Hart suffered the most for it. GM Chuck Fletcher was looking at either Matthias Ekholm or Ryan Ellis via trade this season, but the Predators price was too high. That may change this summer, but I think the Flyers will try to improve in free agency.

Fletcher’s biggest issue in trying hard to sign a defenseman like David Savard in late July is limited cap space. They have about $11 million and will need to shed some unwanted salary by trade and/or buyouts. Another option could in free agency would be either Jamie Oleksiak in Dallas or Alec Martinez in Vegas.

Will the Red Wings bring back Jeff Bashill?

The Detroit Red Wings will get a few balls in the draft lottery again this season. While there are plenty of roster questions, what will they do behind the bench? Jeff Bashill’s contract is up, will he be extended or is Detroit going to look at someone like Gerard Gallant to take them to the next level?

“It’s unclear if the Red Wings and Blashill have had any recent contract discussions or if they’ll table those conversations for after their season concludes,” writes The Fourth Period. “There is plenty of speculation surrounding the Wings’ desires to bring in a new voice as coach, but whether Blashill stays or goes, he believes his club is much improved from the 2019-20 campaign.”