There’s another potential wrinkle with a trade this offseason. The New York Islanders Center Mathew Barzal is a Restricted Free Agent and eligible to sign offer sheets. SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman seems to believe there will be offer sheets coming in on the RFA, and with how frugal Lou Lamoriello is, teams may try to take advantage of the Islanders.
How do the Wild factor into this? Well, the Wild will have a projected Cap Space of $18M, without additional moves. So could the Wild be one of the teams that submit an Offer Sheet? Potentially, but there are several options.
Besides the typical offer sheet, they could try to trade for the negotiating rights with Mat Barzal- the Wild would almost certainly have to give up more than just Zach Parise, first-round pick(s), prospects, and/or players already on the roster, like a Ryan Donato, Jordan Greenway, etc.
They could also do a semi-combination of both. The Wild could be interested in signing Barzal to an offer sheet, but it is “leaked” (strategically) to the public, so that the Islanders may listen to offers on the RFA, either for an offer sheet or trade. Again, it may be a steep price, but Barzal is that kind of player
The likelihood of the options occurring? Tough to say. GM’s don’t like to offer sheet one another’s young players and put each other in tough spots because it makes lives difficult for one another- and there’s the (true) stereotype that there are 35 potential GM’s rotated amongst the 31 (soon to be 32) teams. The same is said about NHL coaches. Maybe the league is changing. There’s growing importance on the youth and skill of the new-aged players, perhaps this offseason we see teams begin to act on it.