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07-22-2012, 02:59 PM
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The History of NHL Offer Sheets

A very good read about the history of offer sheets dating back from 1986. There was a story about the Sharks using a cleverly structured offer sheet on Craig Simpson back in 1993.

The Sharks would follow that up with an offer to Craig Simpson of the Edmonton Oilers for 3 years and $3.09 million. This was the first offer sheet to try a really creative salary structure as the Sharks put a ton of money into the deal as a signing bonus. The league invalidated the offer and stated that it was illegally structured, keeping Simpson an Oiler for a few more weeks. When the Sabres threatened to make a second offer sheet on Simpson, Edmonton traded the forward to Buffalo, rather than go through the situation again.
My favorite story out of there was how St. Louis landed Scott Stevens and then lost him due to their own greed.

The Blues kicked things up a notch in 1990, by signing the first legitimate star player to an offer sheet. Scott Stevens was the cornerstone of the Washington Capitals defence and was emerging as one of the best defencemen in the NHL. He had already shown both an ability to be an offensive force with a 72 point season, and four years above 60 points in Washington. He was also developping a reputation as one of the most feared hitters in hockey. The Blues gave Stevens a 4 year, 5.1 million dollar offer sheet which the Capitals could not match, and 5 first round picks were awarded as compensation.


However St. Louis wasn’t done there, as they would make an offer sheet to the New Jersey Devils’ emerging power forward Brendan Shanahan, that same summer (1991). This would create a problem as the compensation for Shanahan should have been set at another 5 first round picks, and the Blues were out of picks due to the Stevens offer. The Blues offered Curtis Joseph, and Rod Brindamour along with a couple late round picks as compensation, but the Devils would not budge. Eventually the issue went before an arbitrator, who awarded Scott Stevens to the Devils, nullifying the Blues’ 1990 move.

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