The Montreal Canadiens on Saturday announced that they would not match the offer sheet tendered by the Carolina Hurricanes for forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The 21-year-old Finn is now a member of the least likeable team in the NHL.
The shorter version: There is now no reason to remember anything about Dustin Penner. He’s not even relevant as trivia anymore.
Here’s the pullquote from Habs GM Marc Bergevin:
Carolina has used a tool available to them in the collective bargaining agreement and we accept that decision.
Not exactly a powerful line. It feels like a de-escalation from the pettiness war these teams have been in since the Habs tried to snag Sebastian Aho in 2019.
Kotkaniemi was drafted third overall in 2018, but the Canadiens’ approach towards his development was inconsistent with a big role as a rookie followed by AHL time in his sophomore season. The forward finished big though, scoring 5 goals in 19 playoff goals last season.
In return for losing Kotkaniemi, the Canadiens will receive two of Carolina’s draft picks for 2022: a first and a third.
Kotkaniemi will now report to Carolina, who will pay him $6.1 million next season — plus a $20 dollar signing bonus as an eff-you to the Habs for the Aho drama (Aho wears number 20).
The Canes are, naturally, tweeting through it:
Who else wants $20?
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) September 4, 2021
For everyone keeping score at home, Carolina’s summer goes like this:
Oh well. For a minute there they were that rare combination of fun and good that cannot live long in this league.
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