Habs not matching ‘Canes $6.1M offer sheet to Jesperi Kotkaniemi


Jesperi Kotkaniemi is now officially a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced Saturday that the Montreal will not match Carolina’s $6.1 million offer sheet to the young forward. 

“Carolina has used a tool available to them in the collective bargaining agreement and we accept that decision,” Bergevin said in a statement

The Canadiens had one week to either match the offer or take a pass. Montreal will receive a first- and third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft as compensation. 

Kotkaniemi was coming off a three-year, entry-level contract that paid him $925,000 per season and was a restricted free agent. 

The offer sheet from Carolina was partially payback for the five-year, $42 million offer sheet Bergevin made to Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho two years ago. Kotkaniemi’s new contract with the Hurricanes includes a $20 signing bonus, which is Aho’s number. 

The Canadiens drafted Kotkaniemi third overall in 2018. In 171 games for the franchise, the 21-year-old tallied 22 goals and 40 assists for 62 points. 

The native of Finland will likely make his highly anticipated Carolina debut on opening night of the 2021-22 season against the New York Islanders on Oct. 14. The Hurricanes play the Canadiens for the first time on Oct. 21, the first of three meetings between the teams. 


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