New development on a potential contract buyout for Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Elias Edmonson
May 25, 2024  (4:37 PM)

Photo of Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Photo credit: Hockey Wilderness

With a start to the season of 12 points in as many games, many thought Jesperi Kotkaniemi had found his rhythm with the Carolina Hurricanes.

The former first-round pick of the Habs, however, returned to his old habits. He subsequently had a difficult time.
Known as KK, he finished the season with 27 points, including 12 goals, in 79 games. This means he only accumulated 15 points in 67 games after his blazing start. According to him during the end-of-season review, it was a tough year:
"Overall, it was horrible. The year was very difficult for me. [...] I could have done much better. I'll try to forget it and focus on the next one," he said. "It will be like usual, trying to work hard to come back stronger and be ready for next year." - Jesperi Kotkaniemi

For a player in the second season of a lucrative 8-year contract valued at $38.56M ($4.82M per year), it's quite disappointing. Many even think KK's days are numbered in Carolina.
In his recent review, the former GM of the club, Don Waddell, did not hide his intentions to acquire a right-handed center. The young forward could thus be the sacrificial player if the GM found a taker. But with the salary he earns, being 5.5% of the Canes' cap, and his performance since signing this deal, finding a taker would be very difficult.

A former NHL player declares he would buy out Jesperi Kotkaniemi's contract immediately if he were in charge of the Carolina Hurricanes

If he were in the Canes' GM's position, former NHL player Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre would handle this matter more drastically by buying out his contract.
The fact is, as we discussed in a previous article, the Canes can still benefit significantly from a contract buyout for Jesperi Kotkaniemi. As he is under 25, the buyout would be at one-third of the salary instead of two-thirds.
According to the calculator on the site Capfriendly, a buyout of the Finn by Carolina would cost them less than $900k on their cap for the next 12 years, until the end of the 2035-2036 campaign.
Getting rid of two-thirds of KK's salary would greatly benefit the Canes' cap space. Especially knowing that 14 of their 23 regular players will become restricted (6) and unrestricted (7) free agents on July 1. Many of them will also want a nice salary increase...
A change of scenery for both sides could be beneficial. Grand-Pierre cites Jonathan Drouin and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, both of whom have done well in a new environment.
Nonetheless, KK would be facing a second change of scenery; could he finally take advantage of it?
The former NHL player is not the only one thinking this way. In his most recent podcast 32 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman believes KK's contract will be bought out this summer. It all seems inevitable...
EF [Elliotte Friedman] thinks that Carolina will buy out Kotkaniemi.

DLC - « Si je suis les Hurricanes de la Caroline, je rachète le contrat de Jesperi Kotkaniemi immédiatement »
JDM - «Ce fut merdique» – Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Go Nordiques - Catastrophe: Elliotte Friedman confirme la rumeur sur Kotkaniemi
MAY 25   |   708 ANSWERS
New development on a potential contract buyout for Jesperi Kotkaniemi

Would you buy out Jesperi Kotkaniemi's contract if you were the Hurricanes?

Yes52974.7 %
No17925.3 %
Latest 10 stories