The Weber Offer Sheet: A Brief Overview

We try to conquer a few of the "What-Ifs" surrounding Shea Weber's offer sheet from the Flyers.

With the news that Nashville restricted-free-agent Shea Weber has signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers for a reported 14 years and $100 million, it brings a lot of confusion about what constitutes an offer sheet.

For starters, the most important piece of information to be aware of is that a player signing an offer sheet does not necessarily mean that he will be playing for the team that he has signed with. As has already been mentioned in numerous publications, but reiterated here, the Nashville Predators have 7 days to match the offer.

Nashville can neither offer Weber more or less of what the offer is, nor can they trade his rights. At this junction, Nashville’s only option is to match Philadelphia’s offer or deny to match it.

Should Nashville choose to not match the Flyers’ offer, they will receive compensation from Philadelphia, turning the offer sheet into a rather convoluted trade-like scenario.

The compensation values for an offer-sheeted free agent are detailed in the 2005 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The actual compensation for the player is based off of the Actual Annual Value (AAV) of the contract (as opposed to the cap hit) and the level of compensation is determined by the average league salary at the time.

The following is the league’s current compensation, based off of the average salaries from the 2011-12 NHL season.

Offer AAVCompensation
<$1,110,249None
$1,110,249 to $1,682,1943rd Round Pick
$1,682,194 to $3,364,3912nd Round Pick
$3,364,391 to $5,046,5851st and 3rd Round Pick
$5,046,585 to $6,728,7811st, 2nd and 3rd Round Pick
$6,728,781 to $8,410,976Two 1st Round Picks, one 2nd Round Pick, one 3rd Round pick.
>$8,410,976Four 1st Round Picks

At first glance, the apparent compensation for Weber’s offer sheet would be two first-round picks, plus a second-rounder and a third-rounder. Not so fast – according to the section 10.4 of the CBA, the AAV determined in the above scenario is “determined by dividing such compensation by the lesser of the number of years of the Offer Sheet or five”. Since 5 is less than 14, the compensation would be determined from the smaller denominator. Thus, with a $20 million value, per the CBA’s formula, Nashville should be entitled to four first-round draft picks from the Flyers.

Should this occur, Nashville will receive Philadelphia’s next four available first-round draft selections (the CBA specifies “next available” in the event that one has been traded or forfeited).

Since the 2005 CBA, only 7 players have been signed to an offer sheet, including Weber.

PlayerYearRFA TeamOffer FromResult
Ryan Kesler2006VancouverPhiladelphiaMatched
Thomas Vanek2007BuffaloEdmontonMatched
Dustin Penner2007AnaheimEdmontonRejected
David Backes2008St. LouisVancouverMatched
Steve Bernier2008VancouverSt. LouisMatched
Niklas Hjalmarsson2010ChicagoSan JoseMatched
Shea Weber2012NashvillePhiladelphiaTBD

Of the other 6 players, only Dustin Penner was actually acquired by his new team when the Anaheim Ducks refused to meet the offer from the Edmonton Oilers. Anaheim received their three picks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Anaheim then traded the first-round pick to Los Angeles in exchange for two first-round picks, and the Kings subsequently traded the pick to the Sabres in order for Buffalo to move up and take Tyler Myers. After their wheeling-and-dealing, Anaheim drafted Jake Gardiner, Nicolas Deschamps, and Eric O’Dell. The second-round selection was used by Anaheim to select Justin Schultz, who refused to sign a contract with the Ducks and actually signed with the Oilers this offseason – the team that initially owned the draft pick where he was selected. The third-round selection was traded to the Islanders for Marc-Andre Bergeron, who would play 9 games with the Ducks. Thus, with their three picks acquired, they drafted exactly zero players who are still in the Anaheim organization. Penner, of course, would spend almost 4 seasons in Edmonton before being traded at the deadline in 2011 to the Kings, where he would win a second Stanley Cup in 2012.

A native of Franklin, Tennessee, Patten Fuqua is the managing editor of PuckScene.com. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science from Belmont University in Journalism and Broadcasting.