Jake Oettinger's impressive performance last season heralded a potential star in the making. It also gave rise to speculation suggesting the 23-year-old Dallas Stars goaltender could become a prime offer-sheet target.
On July 7, TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported hearing some teams were internally debating the merits of going the offer sheet route with Oettinger. A month later, the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons wondered why teams with plenty of cap space still haven't attempted to sign away the young netminder.
Cap Friendly indicates the Stars have $10.3 million in cap space for the coming season with 21 players under contract. Oettinger and fellow rising star Jason Robertson are restricted free agents coming off entry-level contracts. They're both due for substantial raises given their value to the club.
Assuming Oettinger's open to signing an offer sheet, it could cost between $6.5 million and $8 million per season to tempt him. If the Stars failed to match it, they would get a first, second and third-round pick as compensation.
The Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings and New York Islanders are the only clubs currently with sufficient cap space to make that type of bid.
However, the Ducks, Wings and Islanders are already set between the pipes for the coming season. The Coyotes and Blackhawks are rebuilding and could be eyeing next year's draft lottery while the Sabres are expected to give promising goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen a larger role this season.
Offer sheets remain a tactic that general managers prefer to avoid. Just 10 players have signed offer sheets since 2005 and all but two were matched.
In other words, don't hold your breath expecting Oettinger to sign an offer sheet this summer.