The first offer in the NHL in two years! Carolina is about to return the favor to Montreal
The peak of activity of the NHL teams in the current offseason has already passed. Many clubs have completed their work in the market, have completed their rosters for the next season and are now preparing for the start of training camps. Some teams still had to re-sign contracts with key limited free agents, but no surprises were expected – it seemed that all players would agree on new agreements without incident and stay at their previous jobs.
This has been the case until today.
One of the funniest and most reckless teams in the league “Carolina” decided that it could not continue this way, and stirred up the information space that has been rather quiet recently. First, the Hurricanes announced the extension of the contract with one of the key players of the team, Andrey Svechnikov , giving him the largest check in the history of the franchise.
This news was really long-awaited for the fans of “hurricanes”, but just two days later, “Carolina” decided to attract the attention of the entire hockey community and detonated a real transfer bomb that no one expected.
They say revenge is a dish served cold.
Offer shields are a rare case in the NHL. In total, 36 offers were signed in the history of the league, the last of which was two years ago. Then “Montreal” tried to lure from “Carolina” forward Sebastian Aho, who had perfectly fulfilled the contract of the newcomer to the “Hurricanes”. The Canadians offered the player a five-year contract with an average salary of $ 8.454 million a year, which the Finn signed.
“This is unacceptable for me. I don’t think this is a good strategy. We will prove it was a waste of time. But this is their right. If they think this is the best way to strengthen the team, then we have different philosophies, ”said Carolina owner Tom Dundon the day after Montreal’s deal with Aho was announced.
After that, the Hurricanes played to the audience for a while, but repeated the offer and kept Sebastian on the team. It seemed that there would be no further exacerbation of the conflict and that over time the whole situation would subside. In November 2019, the club’s official twitter even forgave the hubs for this offer.
However, back in July of that year, when Aho had just received a contract from Montreal, there was a rumor that the owner of the Hurricanes had allowed General Manager Don Waddell to take revenge on the Canadiens by also making an offer to one of their future OCAs. And a user named 1ermak in the comments under the news even guessed to whom exactly “Carolina” will make this proposal.
And now, two years later, when, it would seem, that story remained in the past, “Carolina” struck back. The Hurricanes made an offer to Montreal striker Esperi Kotkaniemi , who signed it.
It seems that the week of bullying in 2019 was not enough for the “hurricanes”, so now they continued to make fun of the Canadian club in all possible ways. The one-year contract offered by Kotkaniemi is $ 6,100,015. First, if the Hurricanes paid the player $ 66,000 more, compensation to Montreal in the event of his transfer would include a choice not only in the first and third , but also in the second rounds of the future draft. Secondly, the salary contains a symbolic $ 15 – under this number Esperi played in the Canadiens (the Hurricanes made the same move with a signature bonus to Svechnikov). By the way, Kotkaniemi will also have a signature bonus – $ 20 – and this number is played by Sebastian Aho, which was once again reminded by the same “Twitter” of “Carolina”.
Also on this social network, the club published a statement about the offer in French, posted an image of the card “reversal” from the famous UNO game and reminded that T-shirts with the nickname “a bunch of idiots” are now more relevant than ever.
The cherry on top of the vengeance cake was the statement of the club’s general manager: “Esperi Kotkaniemi accepted our offer. He wants to go to Carolina. He sees the train that we have built and wants to be a part of it. We are proud, but for now we have to wait. “
Doesn’t it look like anything? Then compare with the statement of Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin two years ago: “Sebastian Aho accepted our offer. He wants to go to Montreal. He sees our growing youth and wants to be a part of it. We are proud, but for now we have to wait. ”
The Hurricanes prepared responsibly for this moment. This summer they decided to return the favor to the hubs.
What will Montreal do in such a situation?
If the Canadians repeat Carolina’s proposal, they will complicate their financial situation, both short and long term. The club now exceeds the salary ceiling by $ 2.9 million, but after the introduction of Shea Weber and Paul Byron on the long-term injured list, the Canadiens still have $ 9 million of free money. However, Byron should return to service early next year, and together with him and a possible Kotkaniemi contract, the hubs will again go beyond the ceiling by $ 0.52 million. The amount is small, but hardly one of the three Cole Caufield – Nick Suzuki – Alexander Romanov – the only players of the base with bilateral contracts – will be sent to the farm club in order to fulfill the necessary conditions.
Further, everything is just as difficult. In a year, the newcomers’ contracts for the same Romanov and Suzuki will expire, as well as the agreements between Artturi Lehkonen and Ben Shyaro . All are unconditional first-team players, so their renewal will have to be a priority, but even with a potential $ 1 million salary cap increase, Montreal will have only $ 13.2 million, almost half of which could be spent on a qualifying offer. same Kotkaniemi. In general, the Canadiens management should think carefully before making a decision.
By the way, problems with the ceiling will arise for Carolina – the Hurricanes, if the Finn moves, will exceed the limit by $ 1.5 million, but it seems that the club understands perfectly well how he will act in this situation, otherwise such an offer from the usually stingy Tom Dundon would not be there.
In this situation, of course, the player himself won the most. For at least a year, Kotkaniemi, who has scored 74 points in three seasons in the NHL, will receive salaries at the level of Brad Marchand ($ 6.125 million – 81 points in the 2020/2021 season), Mark Scheifli ( $ 6.125 million – 68 points in the 2020 season) / 2021), Nathan McKinnon ($ 6.3 million – 80 points in the 2020/2021 season) and many other more prominent players.
But in “Carolina”, as I said, apparently, they perfectly understand what they are doing. According to insider Pierre Lebrune , the “hurricanes” in recent days have tried to negotiate with Montreal on the exchange, but after several refusals they decided to get Kotkaniemi in a different way. Apparently, they see great potential in Esperi, so they did not spare money for their salaries.
Anyway, thanks to the Hurricanes, this summer’s ending is a little more interesting.