Ramblings: Dell Crashes, 2018 Breakout Candidates, Kucherov’s Brilliance and more (Mar 25)

steve laidlaw


Ramblings: Breakout candidates for next season.


Nikita Kucherov continues to drive the Lightning. Two points for the superstar winger, including the overtime winner. Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat each registered a point. With four games next week, those two are mighty fine looking waiver wire additions.

This is 100% hindsight on my part but how terrible do NHL GMs look for not extending an offer sheet to Kucherov? A team could have issued stolen him for $7M annually and it only would have cost a 1st, 2nd and 3rd round pick.

Not every team has their full complement of picks to pull such a manoeuver. Maybe the Lightning would have matched anyhow. But at least you force them into an adverse position. It would be worth the attempt. Just look at what Kucherov is doing for what amounts to a one-line team.

I don’t support offer sheets most of the time. I remember how disastrous the Thomas Vanek offer sheet could have been for Edmonton, giving up four 1st round picks. I also recall giving up a 1st in the Dustin Penner offer sheet, which really didn’t move the needle.

I am not in favour of signing in the bracket where you give up 1st round picks beyond the current year and I am not in favour of signing guys to offer sheets when they aren’t superstars. For instance, Rickard Rakell was in a similar spot as Kucherov last fall but the price you’d have had to sign him to get the Ducks not to match, plus the draft picks probably wouldn’t be worth it.

Would the Canucks or Sabres be a playoff team with Rakell added? Maybe but they are definitely in the hunt with Kucherov. Or how much better would the Islanders be with Kucherov instead of Andrew Ladd? 100% the Islanders would trade Ladd plus their first three picks this summer for Kucherov now. Signing an offer sheet doesn’t come with the same certainty as an unrestricted signing but this is another case where it would have been worth the attempt.

Teams literally throw away multiple seasons trying to land superstar players. Edmonton put together a decade of losing to land Connor McDavid. Kucherov was just sitting there and it doesn’t seem like any GMs even tried to steal him away. What the hell. If your team had the picks and the cap space to extend an offer sheet and didn’t, you should be upset. The Oilers didn’t have the picks and I’m still upset. Instead of looking forward and taking a risk to acquire an emerging star, they paid Milan Lucic for his past performance giving him a buyout-proof contract that’s going to live longe