Why don’t the Maple Leafs make an offer to P.K. Subban?
The question was clearly asked to a member of the Maple Leafs front office and the answer was just as direct.
Why not make a restricted free agent offer on unsigned defenceman P.K. Subban? Why not take a run at the best player not playing for the Montreal Canadiens?
The answer: “We’re not against signing restricted free agents. It’s not like we have a policy or anything. But you only sign a player if you believe you will get that player. And I believe if we signed this player, Montreal would match the offer, and then what would be accomplished?”
This is the first side of the two-sided RFA debate. Getting the player. NHL general managers seem willing to do that part, at least in their minds. What they don’t seem willing to do is put competitors — in this case the Canadiens — in payroll difficulty by being forced to match offers they were unwilling to pay in the first place.