Photo of Jesperi Kotkaniemi
Photo credit: YardBaker

Sad announcement from the Hurricanes on Jesperi Kotkaniemi: it's officially over for him as a center player and no more special teams

Published March 9, 2024 at 7:58 PM
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We suspected that the acquisitions of Jake Guentzel and (especially) Evgeny Kuznetsov would have major impacts on the ice time of the former young Montreal Canadiens forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi.

And it's confirmed.

Kotkaniemi, 23 years old, has only accumulated 7 points in his last 42 games. His playing time was already in free fall, but with the arrival of Kuznetsov, he has now officially been removed from special teams.

No more power play for him, no more penalty kill for him, and no more playing as a center for him.


He will have to settle for a few appearances as a fourth-line winger.

In short, he becomes the Hurricanes' Michael Pezzetta, but he earns close to 5 million per season until 2030. Ouch.

Complete lineup:

Svechnikov - Aho - Teravainen
Noesen - Drury - Necas
Martinook - Staal - Jarvis
Kotkaniemi - Kuznetsov - Fast

Slavin - Burns
Skjei - Pesce
Orlov - Chatfield


So, it would take a miracle for things to turn around for him, but don't be surprised if the Hurricanes pay to get rid of him to the Arizona Coyotes this summer, for example. (his contract is not really "buyout-able" unfortunately for them)

In his first game with Kuznetsov today, Kotkaniemi played 7 minutes 56 seconds in a win for his team.
POLL
March 9   |   932 answers
Sad announcement from the Hurricanes on Jesperi Kotkaniemi: it's officially over for him as a center player and no more special teams

How do you see Jesperi Kotkaniemi in 3 years?

First-line player192 %
Second-line or third-line player22524.1 %
Fourth line player18820.2 %
AHL player or in Europe50053.6 %
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