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Could we get an offer sheet in the NHL this year?

Vancouver Canucks' goalie Cory Schneider

DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

It's one of the little used (and some would say under used) portions of this collective bargaining agreement, but the notion of an offer sheet still looms large for teams unable to sign their restricted free agents.

There have only been six offer sheets signed under this CBA, with the last one coming in 2010 when the San Jose Sharks took aim at the Chicago Blackhawks when they gave defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson a four-year, $14-million deal that was ultimately matched.

That salary bump, however, eventually helped force the Blackhawks to walk away from netminder Antti Niemi, who then went and signed with San Jose.

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So it can be a pretty effective tool to wreak havoc on a rival's cap situation.

Two potential targets this off-season could be young goaltenders: Cory Schneider of the Vancouver Canucks and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins.

If teams lose players via an offer sheet, they are compensated by draft picks based on how high the salary of the deal is. This is a moving target – the values increase every year based on the NHL's average salary.

Here are the draft pick compensation figures for the 2012-13 season:

$1,110,249 or below - No Compensation

Over $1,110,249 to $1,682,194 - 3rd round pick

Over $1,682,194 to $3,364,391 - 2nd round pick

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Over $3,364,391 to $5,046,585 - 1st round pick, 3rd

Over $5,046,585 to $6,728,781 - 1st round pick, 2nd, 3rd

Over $6,728,781 To $8,410,976 - Two 1st Round Picks, 2nd, 3rd

Over $8,410,976 - Four 1st Round Picks

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