The Pittsburgh Penguins will undoubtedly offer restricted free agent defenseman Jamie Oleksiak a $1 million qualifying offer by the deadline for such matters, Monday, June 25. That part isn’t in doubt.
What comes after the qualifying offer for Oleksiak and the Penguins, however, is a high stakes game of speculation and belief.
Believe it or not, Oleksiak’s camp has the advantage. Because he resides in the approximate $2 million range for projected salary, the Penguins would receive little compensation if they allow Oleksiak to skate away via an outside offer sheet. For offer sheets under $2 million, the compensation is only a third-round choice. For offers above $2.029 million but under $3.925 million, the return is just a second-round pick.
The dearth of free-agent defensemen, Oleksiak’s re-discovered potential, and the low compensation could make him a desirable offer sheet candidate. The Penguins will have to march strong to the negotiating table to protect their reclamation project from poaching general managers.