Offer sheets in the NHL are few and far between which makes it notable any time one is signed. Rarer still is one that has a player signing for as much above market value as Jesperi Kotkaniemi did when he signed his one-year, $6,100,015 tender from the Hurricanes on Saturday. Here are some notes from around the hockey world on the move.
- Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic mentions (Twitter link) that Carolina and Montreal did have trade talks regarding Kotkaniemi although clearly, they weren’t able to come to an agreement.
- Sportsnet’s Eric Engels writes that Montreal’s decision is a lot harder than the one the Hurricanes had two years ago when the Canadiens tendered an offer sheet to Sebastian Aho. He suggests Arizona’s Christian Dvorak as someone they’d be wise to have discussions about over the one-week matching period to see if some of the draft capital they’d get by not matching could be flipped for him.
- Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports relays (Twitter links) that league executives pegged Kotkaniemi’s actual value on a one-year deal no higher than $2.2MM, providing some perspective on how much of a perceived overpayment this contract is. He adds that the idea to tender Kotkaniemi the offer sheet came from Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, not GM Don Waddell.
- Arpon Basu of The Athletic writes (subscription link) that Montreal’s bigger concern should be that Kotkaniemi, who had spoken about wanting to stay with the Canadiens for the long haul in the past, was willing to go along with the offer sheet. He feels Montreal is in a no-win situation by either needing to pay Kotkaniemi well above market value and potentially messing up their salary structure or losing someone they hoped would be a franchise cornerstone for somewhat of an underwhelming return.
- Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports in the latest 31 Thoughts podcast (audio link) that Montreal wasn’t close on a contract with Kotkaniemi’s camp and was focused on a bridge contract which is something the 21-year-old wasn’t interested in. He also believes that Carolina had discussions with Kotkaniemi on the framework of a long-term extension that could be signed once eligible that would come with a price tag below this one. Of course, Kotkaniemi wouldn’t have to agree to that knowing that he’ll need to be qualified at $6.1MM next summer.
- While Carolina would technically be over the salary cap if the Canadiens don’t match, Sara Civian of The Athletic suggests (subscription link) that it may not be too difficult for them to get back under by clearing out the remaining two years at $4MM on defenseman Jake Gardiner’s contract. Considering he has cleared waivers before, they’d likely need to provide some retention on that contract to make a trade work.
Everyone knows the owner made decision. He is really G.M. anyway Waddell makes no real decisions. Like kevyn Adams they have the jobs because They will follow orders. neither could get a G.M. job otherwise. Dundon just like most rich guys overinflated egos. Get kicks out of using their money to play with others lives.
Is this okay from their cap perspective? Obviously for a single season they can make it work. But what is he going to resign for? Certainly not 6M for multiple season right?
Or is he so skilled that he might suddenly become worth 6M per for the long term?
GMKA has more control that you think. You think the Pegulas are the lead decision makers with the Eichel situation? GMKA stance has forced Captain Baby Jack to switch agents & hopefully this new agent will be more of a help in trade discussions etc. Captain Baby Jack is under contract for 5 more years a decision made by Eichel to take a max length contract instead of a shorter one because Eichel wanted to get PAID.
This really doesn’t seem like a hard decision from the Habs perspective. Let Kotkaniemi go, take the picks and look for a trade for a better player, possibly Dvorak as the article suggests. If Dundon wants to vastly overpay a player not worth that contract, then let him.
I feel like Bergevin is the type of guy to have too big of an ego to cut his losses and give up the guy he picked third overall for one that will be high 20’s.
I think both teams regret this as the Habs won’t match and the canes don’t really need him. I think Dvorak is the move but Arizona have the Habs by the short and curlies there. If KK is worth a 1st & 3rd what is Dvorak worth
Dvorak has a higher PPG(.5 vs .3), shooting % (13% vs 8%) and FO%(55% vs 46%), He is 3 years older at 24
the funny think is I was half joking when I thought it was Dundon making this move, but lo and behold…
I knew it hadta be owner since it was that $20 mil bonus that was the whole “he wont pay it and if he does keep him im making him do sumn he was tryna avoid” situation. Thats not something that really affects a GM to purposely screw over another GM
Down with OBP
A $20 bonus?
well to be fair, it didnt have to be driven by Tom to get the $20 in there. could just have been a little suggestion by him or something to tack on.
a team doesn’t spend well above market value in a strategy to screw another team without it being a revenge play endorsed (or demanded) by the owner.
There isn’t a 20m bonus. It’s 20.00
Dundon was overeager and punked himself.
Bergevin should drive Kotkaniemi to Dundon’s house and hand him a jar filled with 2,000 pennies and say “merci”.
Then trade the picks for a better player anyway.
Love how they mention the player value at 2.1m then mention concerns about loyalty for him accepting an offer sheet for 3x his value… do better writers.
I’m loyal to my company but if someone offers me 3x my salary to do it somewhere else of course I’m going to take it.
I thought the same thing who stays at there job when someone wants to pay you 3x what your worth (comparatively).
@kscheer – Renaud Lavoie’s reporting of the league executives’ thought that Kotkaniemi’s value should have been no more than $2.2MM is separate from Arpon Basu stating that, in the past, Kotkaniemi had expressed the desire to be in MTL, long term. This isn’t Brian’s fault here. He is doing his job properly, by citing the sources. Numerous people have been talking about the relationship between Kotkaniemi and the organization as breaking down over the past year or so. The Habs don’t have a very good track record in recent years when it comes to developing offensive talent, in-house. They have been giving up on players too soon (in some people’s eyes), and continually having to acquire said skill via trade. Does Galchenyuk come to mind here? In fairness, you probably owe Brian a “my bad”, here.
Canes love the Fins. When Russia eventually invades the East Coast, we can send our first two lines on skis to protect us and our delicious bbq treats.