Warning: Story contains coarse language
New Jersey Devils general manager Ray Shero isn't looking for a moral stamp of approval.
When asked about the oft-criticized strategy of using an offer sheet to lure a restricted free agent who's looking for a payday from their current club, the Devils executive offered a blunt assessment.
"We all know what the CBA is," Shero said according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "There is no gentleman's agreement. Fuck that shit. When people say that, it's a lazy narrative, I'll tell you that.
"Your ownership's competitive, GMs are competitive, and it's the buddy-buddy system? What the fuck is that? It doesn't mean something will or won't happen, but that's been the narrative for years, and I don't know why."
The 2019-20 campaign's offer sheet compensation breaks down as such:
Meanwhile, this offseason's long list of restricted free agents is loaded with talent. And with a report surfacing that the salary cap for next season may wind up below the initial estimate of $83 million, teams that need every dollar to retain their young talent could be in a tough position.
"I do know that if you're a team that has a cap situation ... I've been there, when I was in Pittsburgh, for a number of years. It's always in the back of your mind," Shero added.
The Calgary Flames were the last team to submit an offer sheet, which came when they tried to acquire forward Ryan O'Reilly from the Colorado Avalanche in 2013. The Avalanche matched the two-year, $10-million offer.
The last successful offer sheet was in 2007, when the Anaheim Ducks chose not to match the Edmonton Oilers' five-year, $21.5-million deal signed by forward Dustin Penner.