Should the Rangers offer sheet Brayden Point this summer
As the 2018-19 playoffs come closer to the end, Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton is gearing up for what is expected to be a busy off-season. In an off-season that has already started with landing the number two overall pick in the 2019 draft, the signings of Russian prospects Kravtsov, Shesterkin, and Rykov, and the addition of Harvard defenseman Adam Fox (also signed), the Rangers have been rumored to also make a “big splash” this summer.
What this “big splash” is however, nobody knows. They have been linked to Russian winger Artemi Panarin for quite some time, but many are now speculating that Panarin will end up in Florida. He and his good friend and Blue Jackets teammate, Sergei Bobrovsky, would link up with Panarin’s former coach Joel Quenneville.
Another name that has floated around the Ranger rumor mill recently is superstar defenseman, Erik Karlsson. I have been on the Karlsson over Panarin train for quite some time now, but according to The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello, the Rangers may not be as involved in the Swedish defenseman as everyone believes.
The one thing that many big time NHL reporters have hinted at is the unspoken move of offer-sheets. In a recent post, Rick Carpiniello spoke about how he thinks the Rangers might make a run at Tampa’s Brayden Point via the offer-sheet. NHL insider Elliot Friedman eluded to this as well in his latest episode of the “31 Thoughts” podcast. So if Gorton and Rangers brass went the offer-sheet route for the 92-point center Point, what would it cost them?
Offer-sheets can be a very tricky process, both in terms of compensation, and how the money works. Before I discuss what I think the money will look like for Point, let me discuss the compensation. If a team puts in an offer-sheet for a player, it will cost them draft picks based on the AAV. The draft picks must be that team’s picks; it cannot be a first round pick acquired from another team. The one thing that you need to keep in mind is that the AAV will be determined on the number of years or 5 years, whichever is lower.
What this means is say for example the Rangers got Point under contract for 7 years, $63 million, an AAV of $9 million (these numbers are completely made up by the way). The AAV of $9 million would fall in the price range compensation of 2 first round picks, 1 second round pick, and 1 third round pick. The catch is that when an offer-sheet is given, the compensation is for the AAV over 5 years if the contract has term of 6 or 7 years.
So even if Point signed that particular contract with an AAV of $9 million, the compensation would be for an AAV of $12.6 million (63 divided by 5). The cap hit would still be $9 million per year on the books, it is just the compensation that is based on a 5 year AAV. Below is a chart as per CapFriendly on what the Rangers can do if they were go the offer-sheet route. There is one mistake in the third bracket where it says the Rangers “Meet The Requirements”. The Rangers do not meet those requirements because their 2020 second round pick is under condition with the Adam Fox trade.
So what does this all mean? According the EvolvingWild’s contract projections, Brayden Point’s contract will look something like a 5-year deal, carrying an AAV of $8,224,551. If let’s say that was the contract the Rangers got Point at via the offer sheet, they would not be able to get him there because they do not meet the requirements of the compensation.
If the Rangers were to offer-sheet Brayden Point it would have to be one where the compensation is in the last bracket and would cost them four first round picks. The last bracket is for an AAV of $10,568,590 and up. In my opinion since the Rangers cannot get Point in the bracket below the one that would cost them four first round picks, they should offer Point $70 million over 7 years because the AAV for 5 years on the compensation will not matter.
For what it’s worth, I would be completely okay with giving up four first round picks (2020-2023) for Brayden Point for multiple reasons. First of all, the Rangers have stocked the shelves with prospects over the past two seasons. Second of all, they can get a 2020 first round pick back if Mats Zucarello re-signs in Dallas; which looks to be very likely. Finally, Point is a 92-point center and is only 23 -years-old. The Rangers would have a 1-2 punch of Point and Zibanejad with guys like Buchnevich, Kakko, Kravtsov, Kreider, Chytil, and more on the wings.