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Dramatic twist and contract buyout for Jesperi Kotkaniemi by the Carolina Hurricanes? This has just been seriously analyzed and it would be a great opportunity


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Elias Edmonson
January 28, 2024  (3:50 PM)
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Photo of Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Photo credit: Yahoo sports

With a start of the season scoring 12 points in as many games, many thought that Jesperi Kotkaniemi had finally found his stride. However, the former first-round pick of the CH has since returned to his old habits and subsequently experienced some tough times.

So tough that he ended up on the Hurricanes' 4th line, despite having started in the top 6. He amassed only 6 points in his last 34 games...
It begs the question of whether he, who is only in the second season of his lucrative eight-year contract valued at $38.56M (an average of $4.82M per year), still has a future with the team. With his trade value increasingly diminishing, the Canes have limited options.
However, as financial expert Jean-François C. (Mtlfan Sakic on platform X) mentions, they could consider a contract buyout. This option might be more advantageous than you might think.
As you can see using the calculator from the excellent site Capfriendly, a buyout of the Finnish player by Carolina would cost them less than $900k against their cap for the next 12 years, until the end of the 2035-2036 season.
As Jean-François C. reminds us in his tweets, the normal buyout ratio is 2/3. For a player aged 25 and under, this ratio drops to 1/3.
As long as KK hasn't reached the age of 26, the Canes can benefit from a buyout at a third of his salary. The American team has until the summer of 2026 to decide and take advantage of this significant benefit.
Teams have a way to protect themselves by giving long contracts to their young players. They can also help themselves by offering good signing bonuses, which are not included in the buyout calculation, and by offering a lot of salary in the early years (frontloaded contracts).
Regarding Kotkaniemi's case, it would be surprising if a buyout occurs this summer. But if the young forward continues to struggle next season, it is certain that the Canes' management will closely consider this solution.
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Dramatic twist and contract buyout for Jesperi Kotkaniemi by the Carolina Hurricanes? This has just been seriously analyzed and it would be a great opportunity

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