Circulars should just say no to Cole Caufield’s offer sheet

There’s scattered speculation and possibly wishful thinking out there that the Flyers should consider an offer sheet for Canadiens right winger Cole Caufield.

Our opinion: No. No. No.

Caufield, 22, is a dynamic player, loved in Montreal. In 123 games over three seasons, he totaled 53 goals and 31 assists. It’s also an alarming minus-35.

Last season, Caufield scored 26 goals in 46 games before undergoing shoulder surgery on January 27. He said he would have postponed the operation if the Canadians had been in the playoff race.

The Flyers are a team in need. They finished 29th in goals scored at 2.68 per game. Caufield would fit in perfectly.

The restricted free agent has a confident, spirited presence on the ice that exudes leadership. He would be an instant fan favorite in Philadelphia.

And it remains unsigned by Montreal.

What do the Flyers need?

There’s no tangible reason to believe the Flyers are seriously considering Caufield, who has repeatedly insisted a contract with Montreal will be made. But the longer the Canadiens and Caufield remain without a deal, the closer we get to July 1, the first offer sheets can be signed.

Yeah yeah yeah. I hear you. He’s exactly the kind of player the Flyers desperately need, a goal threat with a laser shot from the right wing.

But the cost would be outrageous and prohibitive. If a team offers a deal in the slot worth $10,725 a year over five years, it would cost four first-round picks, starting in 2024.

That amount would be considered necessary to get Caufield to bite. But the Flyers would risk all that draft capital if the Canadiens chose not to match the offer.

Reconstruction teams simply cannot mortgage the future. Four first-round picks are way too much to pay for a team that needs a rebuild and knows it.

Developing depth should be a priority for the Flyers. They need help throughout the training. The project is the way to do it.

When the Flyers correctly talk about rebuilding and patience, signing Caufield to an offer sheet would be the exact opposite.

Slow negotiations?

Offer sheets are two-way. The player must also sign it. And according to our friends at, there’s no indication that Caufield wants to leave the Canadiens. But …

Marc Dumont of Montreal Hockey Now said “from what I’ve heard the negotiations aren’t moving very quickly.”

Teams signing an offer sheet for Caufield isn’t far-fetched. Dumont wrote, “If there’s a chance to add Caufield to their roster, I’d be shocked if most NHL teams wouldn’t at least talk about a possible offer sheet.”

It’s the kind of move the Flyers used to do – splatter, go all-in, sign the big free agent that would take them one step closer to the Stanley Cup.

These are not the current Flyers. They are not close to the Cup. Going after a big-name restricted free agent isn’t the patient, thoughtful rebuild they promised.

If the Flyers are considering a Caufield offer, don’t. Put the pen away.

Flyers, in case you missed it:

Team USA and Canada have semi-final opponents.

The Wells Fargo Center ranks 29th among NHL arenas in a poll.

Get to know Flyers defenseman Ronnie Attard, off the ice.

Around the National Hockey Network:

Vegas Hockey now: The Golden Knights lose in overtime to the Stars. How Star Changes Kept the Series Alive.

Florida Hockey Now: The Panthers rest before the Stanley Cup Finals. Here is the schedule for the finals.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: A to-do list for the new Penguins general manager.

Detroit Hockey Now: Assessing Dylan Larkin’s future with the Red Wings.

Chicago Hockey Now: Speaking of rebuilding, the Blackhawks are forging their way.

Next playoff game:

Game 5: Stars at Golden Knights, 8 p.m. Saturday, ABC, ESPN+. The Golden Knights lead the series, 3-1.

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