NHL Rumors: Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kaapo Kakko, and Andrew Mangiapane ripe for an offer sheet

pierre-luc dubois
Mar 6, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois (80) skates around New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) during the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The often talked about, rarely used, and more rarely successful offer sheet is the topic of today’s NHL Rumors.

Every offseason the threat of an offer sheet looms but is almost never carried out. When it does, you basically did the other general manager’s job for him as it always gets matched. That changed last summer when the Carolina Hurricanes targeted Jesperi Kotkaniemi and a cap strapped Montreal Canadiens team.

By offering a 1-year deal at $6.1 million, it put the Habs into a corner and forced them to accept the compensation of a first and a third round pick. Carolina subsequently extended him for 8 years with an AAV of $4.82M.

“Would we have loved to have kept [Kotkaniemi]? Of course,” Habs GM at the time Marc Bergevin explained. “But not at $6.1 million and not with Christian Dvorak available to us.”

Oddly enough, the last time one was attempted occurred on July 1, 2019. That’s when the Habs went after Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho.

Remember, payback is always a possibility when one GM turns the screws on another. Something to consider when going poaching for a young player.

NHL Rumors: Pierre-Luc Dubois offer sheet

Dubois, 23, had a solid season despite overall team struggles. In 81 games, he posted 28 goals and 60 points but has so much promise that many teams would fall head over heels to try and acquire him.

As a pending restricted free agent with arbitration rights the Jets are in the driver’s seat. Of course, Dubois can file for arbitration and simply accept a one-year award which puts Winnipeg in an undesirable position as they would like to lock him up longer term.

So what happens if Dubois isn’t interested in giving up any free-agency years? Do the Jets trade him? And what about the risk of an offer-sheet?

Dubois has until July 17th to file for salary arbitration. From July 13th, when free agency opens and until that date he can sign an offer-sheet.

Murat Ates, who covers the Jets for The Athletic seems to think it’s possible. One team he feels might do it are the Habs.

If Montreal and Dubois do come to an agreement, Winnipeg will get a week to match the Canadiens’ offer. If the Jets choose to match, great: they get to keep Dubois for whatever dollars and term he was happy to play for in Montreal. If the offer is so ridiculous that Winnipeg can’t or won’t match it, the Jets will be entitled to compensation.

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Dubois is a native of Quebec, and the Canadiens would love nothing more than to make him their top center for next season. VP of Hockey Ops Jeff Gorton had interest in trading for Dubois when he was with the New York Rangers.

NHL Rumors: Kaapo Kakko offer sheet

nhl rumors offer sheet
Dec 15, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; New York Rangers right wing Kaapo Kakko (24) scores a goal against Arizona Coyotes goalie Scott Wedgewood (31) during the third period at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Talk of a possible trade or offer sheet regarding Kaapo Kakko took off after he was scratched in Game 6 of the ECF, but Chris Drury shut that down at the end of the season.

“Kakko is an all-world player who’s still developing,” Drury said per USA Today’s Vince Mercogliano. “He and I had a real good discussion before he left [Tuesday]. There’s obviously a lot of belief from me and the staff of what his future holds. I know he’s excited for a good offseason and to come back next year and be ready.”

Without salary arbitration rights, the Rangers have all the leverage over Kakko. A 2-year bridge deal around $2M AAV is the most likely scenario unless an offer sheet comes around.

Kakko, 21, posted 18 points in just 43 games due to being on the injured list three separate times. For his three-year career, he’s managed just 58 points in 157 matches. However, his size, skill, and high potential does make him a very interesting player this summer.

If a team wants to take a chance on the the former #2 overall pick in the 2019 draft the Rangers cap situation is ripe for an offer sheet.

Per Mollie Walker of the NY Post, she estimates that number to force the Rangers into not matching an offer sheet for Kakko would be between $4.2 and $6.3 million. New York currently has around $11 million in cap space but have more than a handful of free agents to sign.

NHL Rumors: Andrew Mangiapane offer sheet

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Dec 30, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88) celebrates with the bench after scoring a goal against the Seattle Kraken during the third period at Climate Pledge Arena. Calgary defeated Seattle 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

One team that seems to be okay with cap space are the Calgary Flames with around $26 million. The problem is that anywhere between $18M to $20M is going between two players, UFA Johnny Gaudreau and RFA Matthew Tkachuk.

“We’re going to move heaven and earth and do everything we possibly can to get Johnny back here,” GM Brad Treliving said. “You’ve seen it throughout the season. He’s a top player.”

Calgary’s top scorer is going to get max term and money. Expect an 8 year deal with an AAV at around $9M or more. Of course, the Flames must also sign RFA Matthew Tkachuck to a big deal so they’ll need to move out some salary.

Keep an eye on Sean Monahan to be traded this summer. The 27 year-old has one-year remaining at $6.375M and is recovering from hip surgery. A buyout of Milan Lucic is also likely.

Still, the Flames have a lot of other players to sign which could make Andrew Mangiapane a prime offer sheet candidate.

Mangiapane, 26, is an RFA with arbitration rights. He just wrapped up a 2-year deal with a $2.425M AAV and will be getting a nice sized raise. This past season, he scored 35 goals and 55 points in 82 games.