Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said in an interview with Max Bultman of The Athletic that the club could explore offer sheets as a potential way to add restricted free agents this summer, but only in the right situation.
"I don’t believe you just do an offer sheet for doing an offer sheet - just because it’s something to do and it feels good. You do an offer sheet if you think that the offer sheet is going to possibly allow you to get a player from another team that might be in some type of cap trouble. I’m not saying yes to you, I’m not saying no to you. I've got to get to the summer and we’ve got to assess. We’re looking to get better. We’re looking at all the ways," Holland said.
"Our ownership, always, we go to the cap. We’ve always spent. Even prior to 2005, we had a high payroll, we go to the cap. Now, I don’t want to go to the cap just for the sake of going to the cap. That’s what I’m sort of saying to you. We’ll assess. But if an offer sheet makes sense, we’ll look at it. But I would say to you, we’re not going to just do it for the sake of because it’s something interesting to do," Holland added.
No team has signed a restricted free agent to an offer sheet since the Calgary Flames inked Ryan O'Reilly on Feb. 28, 2013 - a contract that was matched by the Avalanche and kept the centre in Colorado. The offer sheet that saw a player change teams came in 2007 when the Edmonton Oilers plucked Dustin Penner away from the Anaheim Ducks.
This coming summer boasts a strong class of potential restricted free agents headlined by Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Patrik Laine, Mikko Rantanen, Matthew Tkachuk, Brayden Point, Brock Boeser and many more.
After making the playoffs every season from 1990 to 2016, the Red Wings have missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons and enter play Monday second-last in the Atlantic Division with 45 points. They will return from the All-Star Break Friday as they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Little Caesars Arena.