NHL insider Elliotte Friedman was on Oliers Now this past Friday and spoke about a number of the free agency moves, including some of the moves teams haven’t yet made. While talking about Taylor Hall and the idea that perhaps the Columbus Blue Jackets might be in on the action, Freidman dropped an interesting nugget.
Both Friedman and host Bob Stauffer assumed the Blue Jackets offloaded money for a reason, but what might be more interesting than the talk surrounding the Blue Jackets and Taylor Hall was what Friedman said about the Blue Jackets approach to free agency in general. Friedman said, “I think Columbus wants to go star hunting.” He added, “I’ve had a few sources say that Columbus is thinking offer sheet.” He added the franchise considered it last year with Mitch Marner and wanted to do it, but Marner wasn’t so crazy about it.
When asked New York Islanders restricted free agent Mathew Barzal might be the target, Friedman said, “Ya, I wonder if that’s who they’re looking at.”
Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer pointed out that the Islanders are little bit pressed right now financially. The team has just under $9 million in cap space left and Barzal, defenseman Ryan Pulock, and Devon Toews to sign.
An Offer Sheet in This Climate?
It would be strange to see an offer sheet in this NHL climate but stranger things have happened. It’s clear from the way things have gone so far in free agency that teams aren’t spending a lot of money and they’re not giving out crazy term to players. If the Blue Jackets gave an outlandish offer sheet to Barzal, they could really hamstring the Islanders and force them to make other moves or give up other players.
Clearly, the Islanders would match and you have to remember that Barzal has to be a willing participant in all of this.
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