Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman not a fan of offer sheets for restricted free agents

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he doesn't like using offer sheets to lure players from an opponent, and it has nothing to do with the idea fellow GMs would look unfavorably at the maneuver.

Nope, the way Yzerman sees it, with offer sheets, "you're just screwing up your own pay structure."

"The only way a team doesn't match the offer is if you grossly overpay the player," he said. "That's why I don't like it. If you do a contract for the right value of a player, chances are the other team is just going to match it."

It is an interesting discussion given chatter last week that teams might go the offer-sheet route with Canucks goalie Cory Schneider. A report in Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper even singled out the Lightning as a possibility.

Schneider, 26, who can be a restricted free agent July 1 and is considered a franchise player, certainly is an attractive target. And Tampa Bay is in desperate need of a goalie and likes Schneider.

But offer sheets, if accepted, come with a price beyond what a team is willing to pay in salary. The team losing the player also must be compensated. The higher the offer sheet, the more draft picks, including first-rounders, go the other way.

There also is this: Teams extending offer sheets cannot contact players until June 26, cannot sign players until July 1 and may have only a small window to do so if the player (by July 5) or his team (by July 6) files for salary arbitration, which stops the offer.

No wonder only Dustin Penner, who left the Ducks for the Oilers in the summer of 2007, is the only player to move via offer sheet since the latest collective bargaining agreement went into effect in 2005.

That move caused so much friction between then-Ducks GM Brian Burke and Oilers GM Kevin Lowe, there was talk they would fight.

Asked if he would be worried about such frayed feelings, Yzerman said, "Well, not really."

"At the end of the day we're all competitive," he said. "We're all trying to put the best team on the ice within the rules of the CBA. The biggest issue, in my opinion, is in order to get the player, you have to overpay. When a contract is out of whack, I think everybody — not only the general managers, the media, everybody — looks at you like, 'What are you doing?' It doesn't make sense."

TICKET UPDATE: Lightning attendance took an appreciable jump this season.

Official average attendance (tickets sold and distributed) was 18,468, up 7 percent from 17,268 in 2010-11. And records from Hills­borough County, which owns the Tampa Bay Times Forum, show actual attendance (the turnstile count) up 14 percent from an average 13,474 in 2010-11 to 15,364.

Now comes the hard part: maintaining the upward trend after a nonplayoff season.

"There were some folks who sort of jumped on the bandwagon or might have only been doing it based on (the 2010-11) playoff run," chief executive officer Tod Leiweke said. "But the vast majority of fans come back because they believe in what (owner Jeff Vinik) is doing and they see what (Yzerman) is doing."

Leiweke said that between full and partial packages, the goal is to maintain this season's 11,000 season-ticket base. It is believed the team has sold slightly more than 8,000 season tickets so far.

"If we can maintain a number like that (11,000) and get back on the ice where we want to be, we feel good about it," Leiweke said.

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman not a fan of offer sheets for restricted free agents 06/09/12 [Last modified: Saturday, June 9, 2012 10:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: An up-and down day for Jose De Leon


    Rays RHP Jose De Leon had a busy Monday - getting called up to join the Rays for the first time and making his way from Pawtucket, R.I., to Boston and the flying to Texas, working 2 2/3 eventful innings to get the W in the 10-8 victory over the Rangers, and then getting optioned back to Triple-A.

  2. Tiger Woods says medication, not alcohol, led to DUI arrest in Florida

    Public Safety

    Players arriving for a tournament this week at Muirfield Village might notice a framed picture of Tiger Woods with a resplendent smile and bright red shirt. He's posed there with the trophy, an image that embodies the excitement he once brought to golf.

    This image provided by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, May 29, 2017, shows Tiger Woods. Police in Florida say Tiger Woods was been arrested for DUI.  [Palm Beach County Sheriff's office via AP]
  3. Four key games that could decide Bucs' success in 2017


    The Bucs finished so close to making the playoffs in 2016 -- literally flip-flop the last two results and have them beat the Saints and lose to the Panthers and they're in as a wild card with the same 9-7 record -- that it's difficult to say with any certainty what will happen in the 2017 season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, shown celebrating a touchdown against the Giants in 2015, will face New York again this fall in Week 4 in Tampa.
  4. Frank Deford wrote with sincerity, giving depth to complicated sports figures

    Human Interest

    Frank Deford practically invented the notion of multimedia: He exported his voice to radio, TV and film, and if you didn't know him you might have thought he was an actor, because he wore purple suits and looked like Clark Gable. But Frank, who died Sunday at age 78, was a writer above all things, and an important …

    In a 1991 photo, Frank Deford holds a proof of The National Sports Daily, of which he was editor and publisher [Associated Press]
  5. Clarity coming this week on Florida Gators, Malik Zaire


    After months of speculation, we could finally get some clarity this week on the Florida Gators and graduate transfer quarterback Malik Zaire.

    SEC flags outside the hotel of last year's spring meetings in Destin. This year's meetings could have a huge impact on the Florida Gators' season.