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Oilers GM will match 'any offer' for RFA Draisaitl

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Edmonton Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli isn't letting star forward Leon Draisaitl go anywhere.

He said the Oilers will match "any offer" if a team signs Draisaitl - a restricted free agent - to what he termed a "predatory offer sheet," according to Sportsnet's Chris Johnston.

The reason for Chiarelli's terminology is that signing an RFA to an offer sheet generally goes against the "GM code," especially when it comes to a player of Draisaitl's caliber - in that case, it's basically an unwritten rule.

The German forward had 29 goals and 77 points this past season, and added 16 points in 13 playoff games. At just 21 years old, he's already basically to Connor McDavid what Evgeni Malkin is to Sidney Crosby; if McDavid is Batman, Draisaitl is Robin.

If a GM does sign Draisaitl to a massive offer sheet, Chiarelli will clearly match it. However, if the offer is big enough, it could handcuff the Oilers and limit their cap flexibility going forward.

From the outside, signing Draisaitl seems like a legitimate strategy for a divisional rival, but those general managers know that what goes around comes around. If a GM does this, he needs to prepare for the same thing whenever one of his own star players becomes an RFA.

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