Brett Connolly: Should He Be A Potential Offer Sheet Target?


The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a great situation with the salary cap – and it might even get better should the front office team swing some deals in the next week.

That puts the Toronto Maple Leafs in a great position to take advantage of teams that need cap space. One of those teams is the Boston Bruins – a long standing rival.

There’s growing chatter that someone might offer sheet Dougie Hamilton – namely the Edmonton Oilers – but there’s another interesting player that the Leafs might be wise to consider given the cap space that they have.

Brett Connolly.

Connolly hasn’t had the start to his NHL career that he’d like, but that doesn’t mean he’s played bad. He’s been very productive in the American Hockey League and, while his point totals in the NHL aren’t great, he’s played near or above his expected role with the exception of the 11 games he played in the 2013-2014 season.

There’s talent there – and he’s only 23 years old. Here are his 2014-2015 comparable players using individual points per 60 minutes who have played between 500 and 700 minutes at 5v5. (numbers via

In the 50 games he played for the Tampa Bay Lightning this season he exceeded the expectations of his role significantly, finishing with a dCorsi60 of 8.62. That’s a massive over-performance.

However, based on his NHL point totals, he’s not likely to get a big pay raise from his $850K 2014-2015 cap hit from the Boston Bruins, especially given their dollar situation. The Bruins have 16 players signed with an estimated $7,292,857 in cap space for the 2015-2016 season.

Dougie Hamilton alone, on an offer sheet, could cover that entire amount of space.

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Now, this offer sheet amount will exceed what Connolly is currently worth from a dollar perspective, but that’s the point isn’t it? To hamstring the other team?

If the Toronto Maple Leafs put in an offer sheet on the 23 year old Connolly for anywhere from $1,826,328 – $3,652,659 it would only cost them a 2nd round pick – and they have two of those for the 2016 draft. Connolly has the potential and upside to cover that exchange.

If the total was, say, two years, $3M, would the Bruins match it? Perhaps they would – but it would impact their salary cap significantly, and I don’t think that’s the number they’d have in mind during negotiations. That would leave $4,292,857 to sign Dougie Hamilton and several other players to fill out the roster. Not going to happen.

It forces the Bruins to make a decision: lose a young player with a lot of potential to a division rival, or deal with an even bigger cap mess. Remember, the Bruins have to wait to place Marc Savard on LTIR until the season begins to maximize the value of his cap relief.

I’m not saying the Leafs should absolutely do it, but they have the space to handle the risk and maybe they should consider it – and it sure would be entertaining to see the Boston Bruins hit with two offer sheets.

So, would you risk a second round pick to offer sheet Brett Connolly to an overpaid bridge deal while everyone worries about Dougie Hamilton?

Next: Leafs Sign Hyman, Erixon, Granberg

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