Sunday Offseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Hurricanes get Kotkaniemi, Canadiens replace him with Dvorak

It worked! The Montreal Canadiens announced Saturday that they are not matching the one-year, $6.1 million offer sheet center Jesperi Kotkaniemi signed with the Carolina Hurricanes. So, the 23-year-old, who was the third overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft heads to Raleigh to join his new team.

According to Hurricanes GM Don Waddell, Kotkaniemi has been on the club’s radar since before his draft year. Kotkaniemi’s one-year deal with Carolina carries a salary of $6,100,015 and a $20 signing bonus, a dig at the offer sheet Montreal unsuccessfully tendered to Hurricanes star Sebastian Aho in 2019. The young Finn put up 20 points (5G/15A) in 56 regular season games and 5 goals and 3 assists in 19 postseason games in 2020-21.

Meanwhile, the Canadiens acquired Carolina’s first and third-round picks in the 2022 draft. Armed with those extra picks, the Habs turned around and acquired center Christian Dvorak  from the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes will receive the better of either Montreal’s original or Carolina’s first-round pick in the 2022 draft along with the Canadiens’ second-round pick in the 2024. If either the Canadiens or Hurricanes first-round pick are top 10 picks in the 2022 draft, Arizona will get the worse of the two picks.

Both Carolina and Montreal are now over the salary cap, so they have a little more work to do this offseason.

For more on the fallout of this rare, successful off sheet, visit Canes Country, Eyes On The Prize and Five For Howling.

NHL signings

The New York Rangers signed restricted free agent defenseman Libor Hajek, 23, to a one-year, two-way deal worth $874, 125 at the NHL level. Hajek put up two goals, two assists and 10 PIM in 44 games with the Rangers last season. (Blueshirt Banter)

Underground poll o’ the day

Who will finish with more points in 2021-22?

Christian Dvorak28
Jesperi Kotkaniemi16