The Montreal Canadiens held a press conference this morning with general manager Marc Bergevin to discuss the loss of Jesperi Kotkaniemi and the subsequent acquisition of Christian Dvorak. Bergevin gave information on multiple aspects of the situation that had evolved over the past week, as well as some other pressing questions that Montreal’s offseason inferred. In terms of the Kotkaniemi negotiations, though, Bergevin mentioned that they were discussing a two-year bridge deal with the 21-year-old Finnish forward. While he didn’t mention any specific financial terms, it’s hard to believe that the total value of the contract would’ve eclipsed the $6.1MM he received from the Hurricanes, let alone the average annual value. A two-year bridge deal would still have left Kotkaniemi with two seasons of RFA eligibility, only taking him through his age 23 season.
More from today’s Habs press conference:
- Montreal’s roster is extremely unlikely to change before training camp, Bergevin admitted today. The statement doesn’t come as a surprise to many, as Montreal sits only $1.1MM away from the amount of which they’ll be able to exceed the salary cap’s Upper Limit when Paul Byron is removed from long-term injured reserve. Considering Montreal’s playoff hopes, salary cap flexibility at this year’s trade deadline will likely be of utmost importance to the squad. The team does still have five available contract slots, though, so signings for minor-league depth shouldn’t be completely ruled out just yet.
- Bergevin also confirmed today that the Montreal Canadiens won’t name an interim captain this season. Questions have been raised about the situation ever since it was announced that captain Shea Weber would miss the entire 2021-22 season (and potentially more) with injury. Brendan Gallagher and Paul Byron remain as alternate captains into the 2021-22 season, but the Canadiens are likely to name a third assistant and potentially fourth to compensate for Weber’s and Byron’s absences. Tyler Toffoli’s and Jeff Petry’s experience and leadership skills make them likely candidates for the titles.