Report: Hurricanes Offer Sheet Kotkaniemi, Troll Canadiens

Report: Hurricanes Offer Sheet Kotkaniemi, Troll Canadiens

by August 29, 2021 1 comment

The Carolina Hurricanes have extended an offer sheet to Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi, but that is hardly the full story. The one-year deal, worth roughly $6.1 million, had to have been accepted by the young center before the announcement was made.

From a pure value standpoint, this is an interesting case. Selected third overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, the 20-year-old Kotkaniemi has been a third-liner for the Canadiens and not much more in the early stages of his career. He scored five goals with 20 points in 56 games last season. He’s scored 22 goals with 62 points over three NHL seasons. While he is definitely not worth that contract right now, given his age and potential, Kotkaniemi can still grow into a great player.

The Canadiens have one week to decide whether or not to match the deal. If not, Kotkaniemi will be on his way to Carolina in exchange for a compensation package. Because of the $6.1 million cap hit, the potential return would be a first-round and third-round pick. The main story here should be that this is not a subtle revenge ploy from the Hurricanes for Montreal’s offer sheet of star Carolina forward Sebastian Aho in 2019.

A Dish Best Served Cold

The signs of this being related to Aho are all over the place. “Jesperi Kotkaniemi accepted our offer. He wants to come to Carolina. He sees the core we’ve built here and he wants to be a part of that. We’re proud, but there’s still a waiting period. When you make an offer like that, we saw a vulnerable position. The offer, with the compensation and the core we have, we realized that it was the best chance we had to get the player,” said Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell in a statement Saturday afternoon. The team’s statement is nearly a word-for-word recreation of Marc Bergevin‘s words when the Aho offer sheet was announced two summers ago.

The total money Kotkaniemi will earn is actually a bit more than $6.1 million. It is $6,100,035. The significance here is that a $20 signing bonus was thrown in. Aho wears No. 20. Take that away, and the salary is $6,100,015. Kotkaniemi wears, you guessed it, No. 15.

The price would be very high if this is what it takes to pry Kotkaniemi out of Montreal’s hands. In one year from now, he will be an RFA again with a $6.1 million qualifying offer. He’s obviously is not worth that today, but things could get ugly if he is not worth that this upcoming season. Of course, the Hurricanes’ social media team did not restrain themselves from their own tomfoolery. Of their five tweets since they announced the signing, all of them have poked fun at the Canadiens. Here are two of the best, some filled with French.

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